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12th Oct 2021

Nicki Minaj defends Jesy Nelson amid blackfishing claims

Jade Hayden

“If you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that.”

Nicki Minaj has appeared to stick up for Jesy Nelson amid the controversy surrounding her latest music video, Boyz.

The rapper, who appears with Jesy on the track, took to Instagram Live last night to discuss some of the criticism concerning the video, which was released last week.

Seemingly alluding to DMs that were allegedly sent by Pinnock to a friend of the band, Minaj addressed the claims that Jesy is ‘Blackfishing’ in the new video, a term that describes those who alter their appearance and adapt certain aspects of another culture to appear Black.

“Sweetheart, take them text messages and shove it up your f**king ass,” she said. “Let her enjoy this time. If you was in this woman’s group and you ain’t talk about this s**t for 10 years, and as soon as you see she’s got a video coming out with Nicki Minaj and Diddy…”

She went on: “Stop trying to hurt people and kill people’s lives and career […] Stop. If you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that. You can go out and put your own music. We’re gonna support you and love you. That’s it. You don’t have to attack someone else.

“If that’s how you felt, why were you kiki’ing with her and being in the videos with her for 10 years? Now, all of a sudden she’s not in a video with you, you have some negative things to do and say? Stop.”

Jesy also addressed the claims again alongside Minaj, saying: “My intention was never ever to offend people of colour” but to celebrate ’90s R&B and because “that era of music is what I love.”

She added: “It actually does really hurt me that may have offended people.”

Jesy also recently told Vulture: “I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman. I’ve never said that I wasn’t. I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know. It’s what I grew up in.”

This comes after the three remaining members of Little Mix, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall appeared to unfollow Jesy on Instagram following the release of her single. 

Pinnock, who recently welcomed twins, said previously that she was “scared” to call out racism while in the band as she was concerned about losing fans.

“When I walk into work and I see a predominantly white room, I’m like, ‘But why?'” she said. “It doesn’t need to be like this. There are Black people that can do these jobs and should be having these opportunities as well.

“For me, diversity is so important and I want my children to be to able watch TV and see themselves and at the minute it’s not good enough.”

Jesy left Little Mix last year to focus on her mental health.