When Nicki Minaj accepted her fifth consecutive trophy for best female hip-hop artist at June’s BET Awards, she stunned fans by revealing a recent incident in which she thought she might die.
Now Minaj is clarifying her remarks in a cover story for Fader magazine’s August-September issue.
“I was making a point to say that the business kills so many people and we don’t even realize it,” she told the magazine. “I can only imagine how many people in this business have died because they may not have wanted to … be embarrassed publicly. We care so much about what the world thinks that we don’t live, really.”
During her acceptance speech in June, the 31-year-old rapper told the audience, “The other day, I really thought I was about to die. … And I didn’t call the ambulance, because I thought, ‘Well, if I call the ambulance, it’s going to be on TMZ. And it made me realize: I don’t care what anybody gotta say. I’ma do me. I’ma do me.”
Asked by Fader for specifics about what happened, Minaj demurred.
“I don’t even want to talk about it,” she said.
That wasn’t the only headline that came from the “Starships” singer’s speech.
Many thought Minaj took a swipe at rising hip-hop star Iggy Azalea, who has been accused of using ghostwritten lyrics, when she said, “What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is that when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it.”
Flipping her hair, Minaj added, “And no, no, no, no, no shade,” though many saw her reference to trash talk as just that.
But Minaj told Fader, “My point of saying what I said was that women need to have a perspective. If we’re out here saying that we’re so confident, and we’re so this and so that, but we don’t even trust ourselves to write down our own thoughts and spit it on a beat?”
Her voice raised, she added, “It just doesn’t add up.”