Nicki Minaj released her new single “Yikes” on Friday, Feb. 7, and one of the lines, which mentions civil rights icon Rosa Parks, has caused a lot of controversy.
“Hella bands, pull up, stashed up, super facts up /
All you b–hes Rosa Parks, uh-oh, get your ass up,” rapped Minaj in the song.
The backlash over the line started when the rapper shared a preview of “Yikes” on Feb. 3, the day before Parks’ birthday, and she lip-synced some of the words, as well as the controversial lyric.
Anita Peek, who worked with Parks and is the executive director of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, commented on the line and told TMZ that if the civil rights legend were alive today she’d be “extremely hurt,” mainly because the line made light of Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.
Peeks also said that because Parks was such a positive person she would have attempted to teach Minaj instead of condemn her.
William McCauley, Parks’ nephew, also spoke about the line and said it bothered him deeply.
“It was both heartbreaking and disrespectful that Nicki Minaj would have a lyric in a song that can be used negatively when mentioning someone who provided her the freedoms that she has today,” he stated.
On Wednesday, TMZ reported that Minaj was sorry about the line and recognized it was in poor taste, especially because she mouthed it on Instagram one day before Parks would’ve turned 107. Plus it’s Black History Month.
It was also said the New York raised rhymer meant no disrespect, and she was just eager to share new music.
Then in the early hours of Feb. 6, on Instagram Story, Minaj responded to the report about being sorry for the lyric and said it’s completely false.
“The Pinkprint” writer also said she doesn’t care if people were bothered by it.
“Never said this,” Minaj clarified. “Had no clue anyone was mad. Don’t care. #Yikes.”
After Minaj responded, many gave their opinions, and some said the rapper is completely wrong for using the Parks line, while others said it’s not a big deal, and some seemed to be in the middle.
“The ancestors are mad at us,” someone tweeted. “Rosa Parks didn’t fight for her name to be used in disrespect smh idk what to say about Nicki Minaj #BlackHistoryMonth2020.”
“This is RAP and male rappers said way worse [than] that and yall ain’t say sh-t about it,” wrote someone else.
“Yea I’m not sure I’m too fond of that line either it was hot but definitely struck a nerve 😩,” another person commented.