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Nicki Minaj Breaks Internet with ‘Minaj à Trois’ Shoot and Drums Up Fierce Criticism

Nicki Minaj knows how to stir controversy and her latest magazine cover is no exception. In Paper Magazine’s break the internet follow-up, the MC is in her own menage a trois — or Minaj à Trois, as the publication put it — bending over, sitting down and kneeling over with her various curves on display. The overtly sexual image, which sees one of the Nicki’s with her tongue out between another Nicki’s legs, has many feeling uneasy.


“Break the Internet is all about the big idea, the word, the image,” wrote Paper Magazine creative director Drew Elliott of the Ellen von Unworth-photographed image. “It came to me one day that ‘Minaj à trois’ had never been done. HOW? We have seen different versions of Nicki, from high fashion to seductive to in-your-face and eye-catching all at the same time. But we had never seen all of these together — and now we have the chance, thanks to our cover shoot with the rap star and Ellen von Unwerth. Welcome to Break the Internet.”

Well, Minaj is, in fact, breaking the internet — a term coined in 2014 with Kim Kardashian’s booty-bearing Paper cover. But she may not be doing so in the greatest way. Folks have been sounding off on the image by slamming her risqué look.

And a debate erupted over the cover serving as a distraction from Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj, who was found guilty of child rape Thursday, Nov. 9.

The rapper has bared all before. When her 2014 single, “Anaconda” dropped, the artwork featured Minaj squatting in a tiny thong that showed off her full rear. Similar images showcased in her music video led Madame Tussauds to create a wax figure in her likeness. And a whole new controversy crept up when museum visitors posed provocatively behind the Minaj figure that was on her hands and knees.

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Such issues surrounding her image are things Minaj is aware of. She believes there’s a discrepancy between the way Black women are treated when it comes to overt sexuality compared to white women.

“When Kim Kardashian’s naked picture came out, [Sharon Osbourne] praised it,” Minaj told Marie Claire in 2016. “And my fans attacked her for being such a hypocrite. So it wasn’t trashy and raunchy when a white woman did it, but it was when a Black woman did it? It’s quite pathetic and sad, but that is my reality, and I’ve gotten accustomed to just shutting it down.”

It seems Minaj has firmly shut things down with this cover, given the praise many have given her despite the negativity.

While the cover image is taking the spotlight, Minaj still has some talking to do. Her accompanying interview drops today, Nov. 15, and we’ll keep you posted on the gems from the article.


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