Nicki Minaj turned 40 on December 8th, but while some fans celebrated the iconic rapper’s big milestone, a few internet detractors used the opportunity to poke fun at her age.
One Twitter user named @blueberrycvm sparked the controversy on Thursday, posting an image of an older heftier version of the Queens native with the caption that read, “Nicki Minaj makes history as the oldest woman alive. She is also the last person ever to see a dinosaur roam the Earth.” The petty Twitter user added:“Happy Birthday to the wrinkly Old Queen #Shes40 #FATANDFORTY.”
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As the hashtag “She’s 40” began to trend in honor of Minaj’s birthday on Thursday, a few more internet trolls shared unsavory comments about the revered femcee.
“The most bitter elderly woman in the world @NICKIMINAJ you really are the queen!” wrote one person, who eluded to the star’s recent Twitter spat with Latto over her alleged Grammy snub.
Another Twitter-goer chimed in: “40 omg she looks like she’s pushing 65.”
Ageism in Hip-Hop has been a longstanding issue in the rap community. As Dr. Hannah Swift of Kent University described in her interview with Highsnobiety, ageism is “the stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or a group of individuals because of their age.” In Hip-Hop, there’s a perception that a rapper’s star power and influence fade after they hit a certain age.
Youth is often a marker used to determine a rapper’s success in an industry, but it seems as female rappers grow older, fans don’t give them the same acceptance as their male hip-hop counterparts. As Jay-Z once said, Hip-Hop has turned into a “young man’s sport” over the years. But make no mistake, Minaj has certainly held her Hip-Hop crown high throughout her late twenties and thirties.
Nicki Minaj’s decorated career in a nutshell
In 2010, Minaj soared to fame after she released her debut album Pink Friday, just shy of her 28th birthday. The album spawned classics like “Moment 4 Life” and “Super Bass,” which reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified diamond by the RIAA.
Minaj’s 2012 follow-up album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, struck success with the album’s lead single “Starships,” which peaked across the top five in 15 countries. The album’s second single, “Anaconda,” debuted at number two on the Hot 100 chart. Thanks to the song’s bootylicious music video, Minaj became the first solo female rapper to reach one billion views on YouTube.
The revered femcee hasn’t let her foot off the gas since. In 2018, the rapper released her fourth studio album Queen at the age of 36. The album spawned her hit single “Chun-Li,” which earned a spot on the U.S. Top 10 Single list.
Now, Minaj is gearing up to drop her fifth album very soon. “Super Freaky Girl,” the lead single off of the forthcoming album, has also made a historic feat. Minaj became the second female rapper to debut at number one in the U.S. following the song’s release. Fans can also expect a new press-on nail design company from the star in the coming year, too.
This isn’t the first time that the Trinidadian-bred MC’s age has come under criticism. In August, fans of Cardi B began age-shaming the rapper shortly after “Super Freaky Girl” hit the airwaves. But the Barbz, Nicki’s dedicated fanbase, rushed in to defend her.