Nicki Minaj is a lot of things—the Harajuku Barbie, Roman Zolanski, Nicki the Boss, Nicki The Ninja—but she wants to make one thing very clear to the general public (and former collaborator Jessie J in particular): she is not Nicki the Damn Song Monitor. She may be keeping an eye out for Selener, but she is not “snooping around for songs chile.”
The dustup came after Jessie J recalled her version of the creation myth for their shared 2014 hit “Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande in a recent Glamour interview. J claimed producer Max Martin had already recorded a demo version of “Bang Bang” and played it for both J and Grande. Both artists heard the song, loved it, and in J’s telling, decided to team up on the track.
“I recorded the first verse, and then Nicki was played it in the studio and was like, ‘I’ve got to jump on this.’ We didn’t go to her and ask; she wanted to do it,” claims J.
Minaj got wind of J’s claims and wanted to set the record straight on Twitter. At no point did the words “I’ve got to jump on this,” ever cross her lips about the song “Bang Bang.” In a tweet, Minaj clarified that she was asked to record a feature for the song by the label and was paid accordingly. She’s not keeping tabs on all the in-development pop songs and begging to jump on. This was a business arrangement.
“How would I have heard the song?” she wrote. “Chiiille what am I the damn song monitor? Snoopin around for songs chile?”
Of course, it was the phrase “damn song monitor” that really took the internet out.
Minaj has a way with words, which of course is why she gets paid by labels to jump on potential hits in the first place. While Minaj wanted to clear things up, she didn’t necessarily aim to ruffle J’s feathers. In a separate tweet, she later clarified that she wished she was the “damn song monitor” when it came to J’s hit “Do It Like a Dude.” “I have been obsessed w/ that song since the min I heard it,” she wrote. “I would’ve gotten on that 1 for some pickle juice.”
All this does beg the question: if Nicki Minaj isn’t the damn song monitor, who is?