Nicki Minaj and Steven Tyler Trade Insults Over 'American Idol' - Rolling Stone
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Nicki Minaj and Steven Tyler Trade Insults Over ‘American Idol’

Rapper says ex-judge’s Bob Dylan comment was ‘racist’

nicki minaj steven tylernicki minaj steven tyler

Nicki Minaj and Steven Tyler

David Steele/ABC via Getty Images; Douglas Mason/WireImage

The next season of American Idol doesn’t air until January and the show is already awash in feuds. The latest involves former judge Steven Tyler and Nicki Minaj, one of two newcomers, who traded public barbs yesterday.

Tyler told MTV News that he wasn’t much impressed with Minaj or her judges’ table colleague Mariah Carey, who have already sniped at each other (and, somehow, dragged Barbara Walters into it).

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Instead of bickering among themselves, Tyler said, they should establish a sense of “camaraderie” to set the tone for contestants. “They should have something going on so thick and beautiful that they can lay it over the new talent that’s trying to birth itself,” Tyler said. “It needs to be birthed, not judged by ‘entertainment’ factors, it needs to be judged by people that [are] honest, true, that have the ‘it’ factor. Not the ‘it’ factor because they can fight. The fuck is that all about?”

The Aerosmith frontman, who left Idol after two seasons, also criticized Minaj’s eye for talent. “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying.” 

Minaj fired back with a series of indignant tweets, calling Tyler’s criticism “a racist comment.” “You assume I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? go fuck yourself and worry about yourself babe,” Minaj wrote. She also noted, “Steven, you haven’t seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet!”

The rapper continued by referencing her earlier dust-up with Carey, “LOL lets make him a shirt that says ‘No Coloreds Allowed’ then escort him down 2 Barbara Walters so he can tell how he was threatened w/guns,” Minaj wrote.

If anyone should have sympathy for rookie judges on Idol, it’s Tyler, Minaj wrote. “When Steven 1st went on Idol he was ridiculed by his peers & fans alike. Called a sell out. So what does he do? Ridicule the next judge.”


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