By Rob Markman with reporting by FLX
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, to Lil Wayne that seven-letter word means everything. MTV News caught up with Tunechi and asked why he decided to pull Nicki Minaj from Hot 97’s Summer Jam line-up just hours before the show. He didn’t appear angry, nor did he insult the popular New York rap radio station, he simply demanded respect.
"That's a female; first and foremost Nicki Minaj is a female. I don't know what anyone else believes, but I believe females deserve the ultimate respect at all times no matter, when or where or how," the multiplatinum rapper told MTV News on Saturday while backstage at Hot 107.9's Birthday Bash in Atlanta.
Minaj was slotted to close out the yearly rap extravaganza on June 3 and was planning to bring out Nas, Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, Cam'ron and Lil Wayne during her set. That plan went south after outspoken Hot 97 personality Peter Rosenberg downed Nicki's pop single "Starships" in front of concertgoers, prompting Wayne to pull the plug on all YMCMB Summer Jam performances, including Nicki's and DJ Khaled's.
"As soon as she called me and told me she felt disrespected, I just declined everything," Weezy told us. "I pulled her from the show because ... no person that works with me will be disrespected in my presence as long as I'm on this planet."
Wayne feels Nicki should have gotten the royal treatment from the radio station and its employees. "I expect the red carpet, in her manner; the pink carpet should be laid out for her," he said. "It's just an executive move, no salt, no bad feelings, no hard feelings."
Many, including Hot 97 veteran DJ Funkmaster Flex, criticized Minaj for not taking the stage, but Lauryn Hill issued a statement supporting Nicki's decision. "I don't have details on exactly what transpired between the station and the artists, but I do support artists standing by their beliefs and walking with integrity,"
Weezy agrees. "I feel like a woman should be respected at all times, therefore I made the right decision," he said.