The drama between current and former members of the UK girl group Little Mix has officially arrived stateside as Nicki Minaj has decided to ferociously throw her hat in the ring. The rapper, who previously collaborated with the group on their 2018 song, “Woman Like Me,” has been feuding with one of the members, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, in particular, after Pinnock allegedly accused ex-member, Jesy Nelson of blackfishing. Despite a respectable collection of number one hits in their native country, this is, for better or worse, probably the most attention Little Mix has ever received in America since they formed ten years ago on the UK’s X Factor.
To back up, Minaj is featured in Nelson’s newest song and music video, “Boyz.” It’s Nelson’s first solo effort after leaving the band in 2020. It’s also been criticized for appropriating Black culture, an allegation Nelson has been faced with in the past. Following the release of the song last week, some alleged (but not confirmed to be real) screenshots began circulating the Internet, which featured Pinnock (the group's only Black member) DMing Birmingham-based TikToker, NoHun, asking him to make a video about Nelson’s blackfishing. In response, Nelson and Minaj went on Instagram Live together on Monday night to discuss the situation.
"Stop,” Minaj said in the Live. “If you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that. You can go out and put out 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?" Minaj continued, saying “Now, all of a sudden she's not in a video with you, you have some negative, evil thing to do and say? Stop." While Minaj never addressed Little Mix or Pinnock by name in the Instagram Live, she later confirmed she was, in fact, speaking about Pinnock in a video the next day.
Nelson mostly remained quiet as Minaj called Pinnock “a fucking clown,” in the Live, though she did address the blackfishing allegations in a recent interview with Vulture. “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that,” she said of the allegations. “And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.” She continued, saying, “But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on...I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”
While the remainder of Little Mix (as well as Perrie Edwards’ dog, Hatchi) have since unfollowed Nelson on Instagram, none of them have addressed the drama with Minaj directly.