‘I wish people would take mental health seriously’

When Nicki Minaj took home the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, her career-spanning greatest music hits and a signature passion—a relationship that has her famous fans (or “Barbz”), like Taylor Swift and the ladies of BLACKPINK, jumped In the Audience Prudential Center to “All Things Go”, “Roman’s Revenge”, “Monster”, “Beez in the Trap”, “Chun-Li”, “Moment 4 Life”, “Super Bass, “Anaconda”, and the New Song” Super Freaky Girl”.

But when Minaj approached the podium surrounded by five lucky Barbz people, she got serious — delivering an acceptance speech that proved why she’s cherished a devoted fan base over the past decade.

    Nicki Minaj performs at the 2022 MTV VMAs.  (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global)

Nicki Minaj performs at the 2022 MTV VMAs. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global)

“I’ve never, in my life ever written a letter, and today I jot something down on my phone, and I give my phone to Joe, and he’s not here—which is sad, because now I don’t remember things,” Minaj began awkwardly. Interested/enjoyed viewers immediately blew up Twitter with “Where’s Joe?” and “You had one job!” Memes and predictions that the supposed rapper’s assistant is about to be fired. But once the wayward Joe rescues the situation and finally takes to the stage with Minaj’s missing phone, it turns out it was worth the wait.

“I wrote this, I don’t know why, but it was in my soul to say: I wish Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Minaj began. (The Video Vanguard Award is sometimes known as the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.) “I hope people understand what they mean and what they’re going through….I wish Pop Smoke, Juice Wrld, and Nipsey Hussle were here. RIP Daddy, my cousin Richard, and Director My business Angela, to whom I should not have said “Rest in Peace” in public.

Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in 2019, the same year Juice Wrld died of a drug overdose at age 21. He was 20 years old. As for the last two personal losses in particular referenced in Minaj’s letter, her father Robert Marage was killed in 2021 as a pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident, and her former business manager, Angela Kokowski, died in a suspected murder.

Minaj also noted in her VMAs speech, “I hope people take mental health seriously — even for people you think have an ideal life.” Minaj has been candid about her psychological struggles in the past. On the way back in 2011, I admitted it Cosmo She was so depressed that she contemplated suicide, and last year during a Twitter Q&A with fans, she explained that she took a music hiatus after her 2018 album. queen She was “very much wanted” for her mental health. The career hiatus clearly didn’t slow her down, as this year she became only the second female rapper to receive the lifetime achievement honor on MTV Video Vanguard.

On a lighter note, Minaj on Sunday also shouted out her influences (Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown, Lauren Hill, Jay-Z); “All Jamaica”; And of course her Barbz. She also thanked her many collaborators who gave her “enormous opportunities that I will never forget,” such as Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Eminem, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Drake… American Idol Season 12 of Season Two is Mariah Carey, with whom she sang “Up Out My Face” very early in her career. Later, when she won Best Hip Hop, she named several other artists she didn’t have time to mention earlier, including Fergie (who was one of the VMAs’ surprise Sunday performances with Jack Harlow), Taylor Swift, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Keshia Cole, Gucci Money, Puff Daddy, Salt in Peppa, Kid in Play, People, 50 Cent, LL Cool G, G-Unit, Lil’ Baby.

The 2022 MTV Music Awards, co-hosted by Minaj with LL Cool J and Harlow, was held on Sunday, August 28 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, and other artists include K-pop group BLACKPINK, country singer Kane Brown, Italian glam- rock band Måneskin, veterans of emo panic! At the disco, electronic dance music star Marshmello with Khaled, Lizzo, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg, Latin sensations Anitta, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, take home a Global Icon award for Red Hot Chili Peppers. For a full list of winners, click over here.

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