‘White feminism, what’s good?’ Nicki Minaj blasts Miley Cyrus at 2015 VMAs


The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) was anything but a typical award show. Nicki Minaj accepted her award for the Best Hip-Hop Video before she amazed viewers by confronting Miley Cyrus with, “Miley, what’s good?” in reference to the comments Cyrus made in an interview with the New York Times. Cyrus crudely and sarcastically congratulated Minaj on her award.

Both during the show and during her previous interview, Cryus did not hide her opinion of Minaj. She claimed that Minaj’s tweets of disappointment about not receiving the nomination for Video of the Year because she was not white or skinny were rooted in anger. Cyrus criticized Minaj for how she handled the VMAs’ nomination process.

Nicki’s reaction sparked a Twitter feud between her and Taylor Swift. Nicki tweeted “When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.”

The tweets were seen as a jab at Swift, who had not only been nominated for Video of the Year, but also nine other awards.

Minaj wasn’t calling out Swift as Cyrus had accused her of. Instead, it was an issue concerning the white supremacy within today’s music industry. For instance, white women are praised for celebrating their bodies and sexuality in videos and songs, while black women are seen as indecent. This is specifically what Minaj was commenting on.

White artists are often shown favor in award shows and it is a good thing that Minaj is acknowledging the day-to-day oppression she experiences as a black female artist and works hard to overcome. Cyrus is refusing to acknowledge the issue Minaj is speaking against and is contributing to it by depicting Minaj as villainous and the stereotypical “angry black woman.”

This is an interesting response from Cyrus because of her new found identity as a feminist icon. This feud reveals that Cyrus is not a feminist, but rather a “white feminist,” limiting her idea of equality only to what affects her own race. Her “Free the Nipple” campaign and cultural appropriation in the form of her dreadlocks are just two examples.

Swift and Minaj sorted out their own personal beef when Minaj clarified that her tweets commented on issues with the music industry as a whole, not Swift as an individual. Cyrus inserting her own opinion into a situation in which she did not belong further demonstrated her own lack of love and kindness that she criticized for lacking in her interview.

“If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement,” Cyrus said. She then proceeds to claim that Minaj is only talking about herself, rather than all black artists. But how can Cyrus determine who Minaj is speaking for? She can’t. Only Minaj can do that.

Minaj had every right to be angry with Cyrus, and making such a public statement got her the attention she wanted for the relevant issues that she feels strongly about. By winning the award for the Best Hip-Hop music video, Minaj beat all the men in her category, achieving her goal of being seen as a rapper, and not as “[the] diluted term ‘female rapper.’ [She] doesn’t want to be called that.”

Being labeled as a female rapper degrades her skill by eliminating her from competing at the same level as male rappers.

Winning over the men in her genre showed huge strives in Minaj’s recognition as the rapper she wants to be.

Artists like Minaj have challenges all around them in order to gain credit where it is due whether it is from other artists or the musical community as a whole.