Nicki Minaj Appears To Diss Kanye West During Essence Festival Performance

Nicki Minaj cut short her performance of “Monster,” at Essence Festival on Friday night, remarking that she doesn’t “fuck with clowns.” The Kanye West track famously features what many fans believe to be Minaj’s best guest verse.

After performing several of her biggest tracks including, “Do We Have A Problem,” “We Go Up,” “Did It On ’em,” and “Beez in the Trap,” her DJ began to play “Monster,” before Minaj shut it down.

“A monster though!” Minaj began. “A monster though! But we don’t fuck with clowns.”

Nicki Minaj, Kanye
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

From there, she introduced Cash Money Records co-founder Birdman and Lil Wayne as her special guests for the set. They performed “#1 Stunna,” “Seeing Green,” “High School,” “Truffle Butter” and “A Milli.”

If Minaj’s comments were intended as a diss, it’s unclear what prompted things to sour between the two artists. Some fans online began to theorize that West’s recent collaboration with Cardi B on “Hot Shit” could be the cause.