Nicki Minaj insists she wasn’t “angry” or “upset” when her album, Queen, debuted at No. 2, behind Travis Scott‘s ASTROWORLD. And yet, as she says on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today, the “Chun-Li” rapper felt like she “wanted to punch him in his f–king face” for claiming her spot.
“What are those emotions then, if it’s not anger?” Ellen DeGeneres asks.
“It’s not anger: it’s what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s fair,” says Minaj, who’s been ranting about Scott for over a week. “I’ve had a No. 2 album and I never cared. It’s just that when you have a No. 2 album to someone who is selling shirts and merch—and selling passes for a tour that isn’t announced yet—it feels like you’re being tricked. It feels like someone is playing a game and beating you at a game opposed to just selling music. I want to sell music!”
Bundling album sales with merch has become a common practice in the music industry, adopted by artists like Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Ariana Grande…and even Minaj. Scott “sold a lot of T-shirts and sweaters and tour passes,” she said. “We’re not going to have that!”
“He didn’t have the No. 1 album,” Minaj argued. “Queen was the No. 1 album.”
Grande’s Sweetener is currently No. 1, followed by Scott’s ASTROWORLD (No. 2), Minaj’s Queen (No. 3), Drake‘s Scorpion (No. 4) and Post Malone‘s beerbongs & bentleys (No. 5). Minaj also argued she lost out on “12 hours of sales” in her first week, since Queen was a “secret” project.
In essence, the “Bed” rapper feels Scott gamed the system, whereas she played by the rules. “To even have that much, to do such a big number, is a big deal,” she said. “I want to make sure I say this, because sometimes people think you’re ungrateful, and I’m the most grateful person in the world. I love being grateful and remembering that things can be worse, OK? I started from nothing. I’m one of those people who…I get it. But I don’t like being bullied and I don’t like being taken advantage of. Sometimes people use scare tactics against you because they know, especially as a black woman, people will call you ‘angry’ or ‘bitter.’ So, now it’s almost like we’re not allowed to defend ourselves or stand up for ourselves. And I’m not going to have that.”