Oh what a tangled web we weave. Nicki Minaj is still paying for her pop sins, it would appear.
After landing a headlining spot in Hot 97's highly coveted Summer Jam concert, Nicki Minaj abruptly pulled out of the gig after Young Money's head honcho Lil' Wayne made the order.
The cancellation decision was made after Hot 97's DJ Peter Rosenberg's dismissive remarks about Nicki Minaj's "Starships" song surfaced.
"I see the real hip-hop heads sprinkled in here, I see 'em. I know there's some chicks here waiting to sing 'Starships' later, I'm not talking to y'all right now. F**k that bullshit," Rosenberg said.
Word got back to Lil' Wayne and Baby and they decided to engage in a pissing match with Hot 97, so they pulled the plug on Nicki's appearance.
Young Money ain't doing summer jam.— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) June 3, 2012
Nicki explained that the matter was out of her hands, because what Wayne says, goes.
I go above and beyond for my fans. But won't ever go against wayne's word. What he says, goes.— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) June 3, 2012
The unfortunate thing is that Nicki fans were in for a real treat. She had planned a star-studded set that was going to feature appearances from Cam'Ron, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill and Nas. This reunion with Foxy on stage set Lil' Kim into hysterics on Twitter, but that's another story for another day.
Funkmaster Flex, who was firmly in the Team Minaj camp, is now hellbent on exposing and "destroying" Nicki's career. He took to the Summer Jam stage and denounced "commercial rappers." Gulp.
All of this didn't have to end up like this. Rosenberg's slight was in poor taste. Hot 97 hired Nicki as a headliner for the event and plenty of folks paid good money to see Nicki. So what's the point of insulting her fans and Hot 97 listeners?
On the other hand, for Young Money, why go to the extreme over what was really a light jab. "Starships" is a dance track and hardly the sort of track that real hip-hop heads would respond to. Rosenberg has praised Nicki's MC skills in the past but he's not a fan of her dance material. So be it. If Nicki wanted to clap back at Rosenberg on stage, fair enough. But to pull the plug entirely and burn a bridge with Hot 97, the biggest hip-hop station in New York City? That seems like shooting yourself in the foot.
Contrary to popular belief, radio still plays a very important role in the hit-making process. Nicki has had a tough go of that with her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album outside of "Starships." So alienating friends at radio is probably not a good idea. And canceling last minute on them for a headlining show is a surefire way to see the door slammed in your face the next time your new single comes around.
But it's a game of chicken at this point. Whose brand is the strongest? Nicki Minaj has built a massive fan base with international reach. She's hot and in demand with pretty much everyone. If other stations continue to spin Nicki's tracks, how long can Hot 97 ignore her? On the flipside, how long can Nicki fight Hot 97 as she attempts to push future singles from her album or as she launches her next album? Yeah, Hot 97 is one radio station in one city, but this is New York. Nicki's hometown. Winning their approval isn't just of commercial importance but symbolic importance as well.
Something's got to give at some point.