Nicki Minaj Takes Aim at Kanye West at Essence Fest: “We Don’t Fuck with Clowns!”

Minaj called out her former collaborator prior to performing "Monster"

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Nicki Minaj didn’t mince words about former collaborator Kanye West during her headlining set at the 2022 Essence Music Festival on Friday, July 1st.

The diss in question came partway through the rapper’s set, when her DJ cued up her guest verse from Ye’s star-studded smash “Monster” off 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. (The track is largely credited for launching Minaj into hip-hop stardom).

“A monster though! A monster though! But we don’t fuck with clowns,” she said, teasing the track before putting down her proverbial monster Giuseppe heel down and stopping the show altogether to instead give a shout-out to host city New Orleans.

It’s not exactly clear what led to Minaj’s snipe, but she previously expressed dissatisfaction over West’s decision to shelf their 2019 collaboration “New Body.” West also recently popped up on “Hot Shit,” the new single from Minaj’s longtime rival, Cardi B.

Back in April, Minaj joined James Corden for the first rendition of “Carpool Karaoke” on The Late Late Show with James Corden since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Next, she’s set to headline Rolling Loud New York in September alongside Future and A$AP Rocky, while Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Baby, Pusha T, and 21 Savage are also on the festival’s lineup.


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