So, this means the “retirement” is officially over, right? Nicki Minaj, who announced she was stepping away from music months ago, returned to the rap game on Feb. 7 with “Yikes,” the controversial track she previewed earlier in the week. It couldn’t come at a better time. Amid the explosive online back-and-forth with her ex, Meek Mill, it was good to be reminded that Nicki, 37, is first and foremost one of the biggest names in hip-hop. Plus, she managed to get in some digs at Meek on the new song, as she raps, “Yikes, you a clown, you do it for the likes.”
This is one of the same statements that NIcki made about her ex amidst their wild social media feud on Feb. 5. The message was sent on Nicki’s Instagram story, where she wrote out the same words as this lyric from her new song and also said that Meek has ‘Twitter Fingers.’ It seems that the lyric is in reference to Meek talking about her on social media to get ‘likes’ on the various sites. The online feud came after Nicki, her husband, Kenneth Petty, and Meek had a run-in at a store back in January, and video of the confrontation showed that it got pretty hostile between Nicki’s hubby and her ex.
While fans are praising Nicki for the song, it seems that she can’t fully roll out a promo single without catching some grief. Nicki shared a snippet of the song on Feb. 3, and a line that referenced civil rights icon Rosa Parks (“All you b*tches Rosa Parks, uh-oh, get your ass up”) left some fans seeing red. They voiced this displeasure online: “Nicki Minaj did NOT say Rosa Parks get your ass up. She didn’t. Nah. I can’t believe this.” Nothing funny about a black woman being told to get up and move to the back of the bus, and it’s black history month. Some sh*t you just don’t say. That was a defining moment in our history.” “Y’all go remind Nicki Minaj that. Quick history lesson: She never got up, she stayed seated. The lyric makes no sense.” (Though, the fact that she was referring to people who were staying in their seats instead of dancing as “Rosa Parks” would indicate Nicki’s metaphor was correct and made sense.)
While some people picked up on the backlash, Nicki was completely unaware anyone took any offense to the lyric. “Had no clue anyone was mad,” Nicki posted to her Instagram Story along with a headline indicating she was feeling the heat from the fans. “Don’t care. #Yikes.” The odds that Nicki didn’t know about the backlash seem low, considering she always seems to be on social media, but it’s possible she missed out on the grief because she was too busy with Meek.
She later expressed regret over getting involved in such a heated online exchange. “Every time I do it, five minutes later, I’m like, why the f**k did I…? Every single time. But it’s a good lesson in knowing how to master your anger and emotions. So every time I do that, I like, give myself a talking to in my head, like, okay, you played yourself, you shouldn’t have done [sic] that,” she said.