Nicki Minaj accepts the Best Hip Hop Video award for "Anaconda" onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Aug. 30, 2015.
Kevin Winter—MTV1415/Getty Images
By Nolan Feeney
October 7, 2015

When Nicki Minaj called out Miley Cyrus at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards for disparaging comments the pop star made about her a few days before the ceremony, Minaj stole the show (and inspired a whole line of Etsy products) with a single line: “And now back to this b-tch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press—Miley, what’s good?”

Now, the “Anaconda” rapper is explaining why she did it.

In a new interview with the New York Times Magazine, Minaj addresses the summer drama that seemed to involve all of the year’s biggest pop stars. First, Minaj’s “Anaconda” video did not receive a Video of the Year nomination from MTV, which inspired Minaj tweet about how the show only “celebrates women with very slim bodies” and inconsistently acknowledges the cultural contributions of black women. (Beyoncé did receive a nomination in that category, however.)

Then, Taylor Swift interpreted Minaj’s comments as a personal attack and accused Minaj of “pit[ting] women against each other.” Swift later apologized, and the two went on to patch things up and kick off the VMAs together—but not before Cyrus (not to mention Katy Perry) weighed in on the incident. Cyrus told the Times a few days before the awards show that Minaj’s complaints were “not polite” and “just about [her]self,” even after the reporter conducting the interview tried to explain the larger cultural critique Minaj was making. Cyrus didn’t back down, though, which of course led to the shade-thrown-’round-the-world.

Here’s what Minaj, addressing Cyrus, had to say about the confrontation to the magazine:

“The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls. You’re in videos with black men, and you’re bringing out black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how black women feel about something that’s so important? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad. If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn’t not want to know that.”


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