Much to the confusion of social media users, Nicki Minaj will headline a music festival in Saudi Arabia.
The Jeddah World Fest: Mu announced it’s line up of “first-wave” performances that includes Minaj, Liam Payne, Steve Aoki, and R3WIRE & Varski MC. This prompted the confused reaction of Twitter users over why the ultra-conservative kingdom would welcome a performance from the American rapper. Minaj is known for her raunchy performances, explicit lyrics and revealing outfits. These are far from what is reflected by Saudi Arabian culture.
According to the BBC, the incident is an example of the kingdom’s effort to loosen restrictions on the entertainment industry to promote the arts sector.
One Twitter user had a light-hearted reaction to the issue writing:
“Imagine waking up from a three year coma and the first thing you hear is Nicki Minaj [is] opening a musical festival in Saudi Arabia, I’d honestly think I woke up in some parallel universe.”
Another Twitter user even had a hilarious meme as a reaction. See the post below:
Nicki Minaj: PINK WIG THICK ASS GIVE EM WHIPLASH
Conservative saudi audience: pic.twitter.com/QQ3azP2vXq
— Amal (@Alamalexia) July 3, 2019
One user addressed the contradiction between Saudi Arabia’s culture and Minaj’s way of dressing and speaking saying:
“Maybe she can talk to The Prince about why he tortures women there. That would speak volumes. If they dressed and talked like Nicki, they would be beaten and thrown in jail. #contadictioninterms”
Maybe she can talk to The Prince about why he tortures women there. That would speak volumes. If they dressed and talked like Nicki, they would be beaten and thrown in jail. #contadictioninterms
— Effina (@effinalavina) July 3, 2019
One of the bigger underlying issues that some users called out is how it is hypocritical of Minaj to perform there. The kingdom punishes homosexuality with death. One user writes: “You seen ‘queer ally’ Nicki minaj is doing a concert for Saudi royals? Only 3 days ago she was making her pink dollar at pride, now she’s off getting her homophobe dollar!”
You seen 'queer ally' Nicki minaj is doing a concert for Saudi royals? Only 3 days ago she was making her pink dollar at pride, now she's off getting her homophobe dollar!
— JJ 🇪🇺🏴🏳️🌈🐕 (@WelshBathBoy) July 2, 2019
Minaj performance at the Jeddah World Fest will be on July 18.