Mariah Carey’s debut album dropped when Nicki Minaj was just a New York elementary school girl named Onika, way before the big, bawdy brand that she has become. Mimi paid her dues and built a legacy: 200 million records sold worldwide, the distinction of being named the best-selling female artist of the millennium, five Grammys, 17 World Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and 31 Billboard Music Awards. On the flip side, we were all shocked when Nicki managed to bring home a VMA -- and judging by her community players theatrics, so was she.
This week, even more unbelievable, Nicki managed to get into a big old nasty fight with Mariah on set at American Idol auditions. What a disaster. For them and for us.
In case you missed the big fight:
I’m not necessarily a Mariah Carey fan. I mean, I like trying to hit the high notes in “Emotions” and belting out “Vision of Love” in the sound booth that is my car, and “Someday” was my personal mantra back in the dejected, angst-filled years of middle school. But I am not among her legions of ride-or-die fans. I think, for all of her vocal ability, she sings songs that are beneath her as of late and that she’s so caught up in trying to be young, she forgets that she’s uber-talented and can saaang. Nicki, on the other hand, is a marginally talented artist with an apparently crackerjack management team that manipulated her fleeting celebrity into a gig on American Idol, and she needs to count her blessings.
For her part, Nicki’s tirade on Mariah would be like me trying to sass Terry McMillan or Susan Taylor, for which I would rightfully need a heavy dose of sit-yo-tail-down. Even if Mariah gave her shade, part of paying your dues is knowing when to suck it up and fold them. I am so tired of younger people not showing appreciation for the work that has been done before them. Mariah’s not a pioneer in the sense that she blazed trails -- there were others ahead of her who did much more in that respect -- but she also didn't need to employ gimmicky branding, zany costumes, or obnoxious vocal acrobatics in lieu of authentic, bona fide talent.
Of course, aside from this being the biggest kerfuffle between two pop star divas in recent memory, it is, most importantly, a disappointment that two very high-profile black women have had a very high-profile meltdown. America already holds courtside seats to our foamy-mouthed behavior on Basketball Wives, Love and Hip-Hop, and Real Housewives, with a faithful viewership who tune in to watch those women backstab and berate each other. That’s entertainment in 2012. Do we seriously need that to spill over into the Hollywood set?
I have no doubt that both of them are hard to be around for longer than 5-7 minutes at a time. I haven’t heard great things about their respective behind-the-scenes manners. Nicki, by her own admission, is difficult to work with and Mariah is especially notorious for being high maintenance. So two big personalities among two heavily privileged women was bound to cause tension. But even as tempers flared, the bottom line is that they both should have remembered they were at work and thus were obligated to act like professionals.
What job do you know where you can have a screaming match with one of your co-workers and still waltz in the next day without finding a pink slip dangling from your monitor? Where are their little censors that keeps the rest of us from choking out our most frustratingly irritating co-workers? They did women in general and black women specifically no favors with their little flare-up, particularly since they both claim to be so pro-girl power.
I'm sure neither one will lose their American Idol gig over this, though I hear execs were none too pleased about the language or the ferocity. At the base of it all, they’re two ridiculously wealthy, internationally famous chicks, and they get paid way too much -- and hold way too much clout -- to be acting like two broads cussing and fussing at the local watering hole.
Do you think American Idol execs should pull them from the show?
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