The truth about Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez’s rumor mill

Nicki Minaj never shuts up for other celebrities when she feels a fellow artist has crossed a line. During the 2015 MTV VMAs, Minaj had choice words for Miley Cyrus while accepting her award for Hip Hop Video of the Year. “And now back to that b**** who had a lot to say about me in the press. Miley, what’s good,” Minaj said (via Entertainment Weekly), which was in response to an interview Cyrus gave about previous comments the rapper made regarding the nominees in the main categories.

Knowing that Minaj wasn’t afraid to feud with other artists led fans to believe there was tension between her and Jennifer Lopez. There was a back-and-forth between Barbz and Lopez on an episode of “American Idol” in 2012. After her performance, Minaj said she wanted to join the judges — which included Lopez. “I was hoping that maybe I could come back and be a guest judge. J-Lo, can you slide over a little bit?” Minaj said playfully (via The Hollywood Reporter). The “Selena” star dismissed the suggestion. “I don’t know if there’s enough room for the two of us,” Lopez replied.

After that, Minaj was asked about the interaction. “She didn’t seem to have it, but she will!” the “Super Bass” rapper told THR before clarifying that she was joking. “No, actually I love J-Lo. I love what she’s done for pop culture, I have nothing but respect.” She added. The two appeared to hit it off, but some years later drama was suspected.

Nicki Minaj’s viral reaction to Jennifer Lopez

Once again, a grand awards show set the stage for alleged Nicki Minaj beef. Jennifer Lopez hosted the 2015 American Music Awards, performing a medley of then-popular songs, including Minaj’s racy “Anaconda” track. As Lopez performed this song, the camera panned over Minaj, who had an unimpressed expression on her face, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Social media users noticed the “Feeling Myself” rapper’s unenthusiastic face and took it as a shadow towards Lopez. “Damn J Lo…Nicki Minaj facial expression says it all,” DJ Akademiks tweeted at the time (via ET). Minaj was quick to explain why she was making that face while Lopez was performing. “I’m looking at my own face on the screen when I look to the right. I turn and look @her,” she said tweeted to academics. Maybe Minaj’s facial reaction was exaggerated, but there were other reasons that pointed to a feud between the rapper and the “On the Floor” singer.

In 2014, Minaj recruited Casper Smart as a choreographer for her tour since he also choreographed her “Anaconda” music video, according to Entertainment Tonight. The dancer was best known to the public as Lopez’s ex-boyfriend. The following year, in 2015 — before Lopez hosted the AMAs — paparazzi discovered Minaj was hanging out with Smart. The “Hustlers” star was reportedly not thrilled to see her ex hanging out with Minaj, per the Daily Mail. Years later, a Minaj rap verse had fans speculating that the grudges were back.

Nicki Minaj throws shadows in the lyrics

Nicki Minaj dropped serious sublimanals when she appeared on Doja Cat’s Say So Remix in May 2020. Her explosive lyrics appeared to be shots fired at an unnamed target. “Why are you talking about who body is fake? With all those fillers on your face you’re just full of hate…Now you look goofy, that’s word for silicone,” she rapped, per Genius. At first, many listeners thought Minaj was casting a shadow over longtime rival Wendy Williams. The Talk of the Day host has been vocal in the past about criticizing Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty.

A year earlier, the “Do we have a problem?” The artist addressed Williams on an episode of her Queen Radio show. “There are people who are reporting the news, and there are people who are doing it with an evil intent in their hearts,” she said of Williams (via Hollywood Life). Despite signs the lyrics were a shot at Williams, Minaj denied those claims in an Instagram post. “The line isn’t about Wendy,” she wrote, per Hollywood Life. That led some fans speculate online that the lyrics were aimed at Jennifer Lopez, but there was no confirmation from Minaj as to who the verse was about.

If Lopez harbored ill will toward Minaj, it wasn’t apparent in an Instagram post she made shortly after their engagement. In April 2022, the “Out of Sight” actor gave fans a glimpse of her engagement ring while tossing Minaj and Coi Leray’s track “Blick Blick” in their car, per Pink Villa.