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I was going to title this “Nicki, come get your fans…” but given the rapper’s own behavior on social media, I doubt that she takes an issue with the way they’ve been behaving. But just so you know, this is what’s been going on.

Before Nicki’s latest album Queen was released, she told fans that it would be delayed once again because there was a sample from Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You” that the label had not been granted clearance to use. Nicki told fans about the dilemma tweeting:

“So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time. Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman – do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date? ‍do we push #Queen back 1week? Ugh! I’m torn, y’all help”

Later, she petitioned her fans to hit Tracy Chapman themselves. But it was all to no avail because 10 days later, Nicki tweeted:

“Sis said no [light brown skinned shrug emoji]”

Nicki gave the record to Funkmaster Flex to debut but it has since been removed from YouTube.

Not surprisingly, the Barbz were upset. And looking to share their frustrations with Tracy Chapman herself, they inadvertently stumbled across a fan page, leaving all types of hateful messages. The owner and operator of the fan page shared some of their comments.

This is so sad on so many levels. From an intelligence perspective, it’s quite alarming that they can’t make a distinction between a fan page and one run by the real Tracy Chapman. Secondly, and most importantly, from a moral perspective, this is absolute trash behavior. I’d bet good money that before Nicki Minaj made this announcement, these children had never even heard of Tracy Chapman or knew of her contributions to music. Yet, here they are calling her everything but a child of God. And for what? Nicki’s album came out. The general reviews seem to be good. Her fans are certainly enjoying it. What really is the problem? I can’t help but think these Barbz believe that they’re following orders from their leader, that they’re riding and advocating on her behalf. And that’s sad.

I know there are recording artists who believe differently (J. Cole); but if an artist creates something, they are well within their rights to decide how their art will be used now, henceforth and forever more. The same thing happened when the Rolling Stones asked that Donald Trump stop playing their songs at his rallies. (It wasn’t a request he honored because Trump.) But these are the type of actions that make him intolerable. There are some things, some ideals that you don’t want your creation to be associated with. There’s nothing wrong with that. I wish that Nicki’s fans could accept Chapman’s decision in the same way their Queen did. Or better yet, it would be great if Nicki would say or tweet something to discourage this type of foolishness.

Then again, maybe this is exactly what she hoped to achieve letting her fans in on the behind-the-scenes details of this album. Who knows.

I fear that in this age of stans people are more willing to align themselves with specific artists, whether right or wrong, rather than the respect of artistry.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.
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