Case Studies

Nicki Minaj – A Cautionary Tale

Written by Nicole J. 

Nicki Minaj apparently married her felonious boyfriend Kenneth Petty this week, and while I’m saddened by the subterranean depths she reached into to procure her new partner, I’m not at all surprised. Are there any lessons can we learn by this match made in desperation? But of course!

Don’t partner with financially inadequate men

When famous black women (or in this case, multigenerationally mixed women) get with broke dudes, it just boggles my mind. By virtue of being wealthier than most, that grants these women access to upper echelons of quality that the average woman is often denied, or has a whole lot more difficulty reaching. Don’t people learn from others’ mistakes? It’s almost a yearly occurrence when a black woman in the public eye is embattled in a divorce and her black soon to be ex-husband is scraping and scrapping for her money like the conquered kings they are. This year we had a few celebrity breakups that fit the bill, like Wendy Williams and Mary J Blige and Sherri Shepherd and Kim Coles. They weren’t the first, and sadly, they won’t be the last.


Compare that to famous nonblack divorces, like the Bezoses, also this year, whose divorce from Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos made Mackenzie the third richest woman on the planet. There is no doubt that Nicki chose a dude financially beneath her, and historically, that pretty much never ends well. On top of that, men have egos, especially the ones with nothing to actually merit one. Do you really think that a man capable of attempting to rape a 16-year-old at knifepoint is capable of the emotional maturity to handle a multimillionaire wife that outshines him in every aspect, compared to however much he makes, doing whatever it is he does?


Hopefully the prenuptial agreement is ironclad, airtight, waterproof, and fireproof, because like most marriages in the public eye, I doubt it will last, and given his violent nature and longstanding history of run-ins with the law, it could end with Nicki losing a lot more than her money. Which brings me to my next point…

Don’t get with convicts

I have already said that prison is not a dating service. Do not bring down your own social capital by associating with anyone with too many speeding tickets, much less a rap sheet like the one Ken boasts. According to Billboard, the newlywed was found guilty of the rape/attempted rape mentioned earlier, manslaughter, and to top it all off, he is also a sex offender. What a catch. If Nicki foolishly has a kid by this dude, would he be allowed near that child? Is someone with a broken moral compass, evidenced by past actions, someone that you should seriously consider until death do you part? No ma’am.

Marrying down is too common among black women’s relationships

Let’s not pretend that this bottom of the barrel exercise in hypogamy is uncommon. The scale may be smaller, but the high stakes and high risk of not just dating, but marrying a bum, is played out at us regular-people levels. A few months ago I wrote about a scenario that saw a black female neurosurgeon married to a shoe salesman making 10 times his salary. That scenario was likely made up, but it illustrated the depths a black woman will go to, to “have a man”, even with enormous financial disparity stacking the odds against her.


For the sake of black love, a concerning number of black women in possession of a solid profession will get with a black man, jobless and shiftless, rather than date interracially or enjoy the peace that comes with being single. Or, the other side of the coin, they will accept egregious conduct, just because they erroneously believe that nonblack men are better by default, which is also not the case.


If you don’t want to hear the truth…so be it


Nicki is world famous, and you can’t tell me that between people in her various comment sections on social media, and people in her inner circle, didn’t say “Are you sure about this, sis?” when the talk of entering a marriage contract with this dude started taking form. She set her sights on Ken, even though there was no doubt much consternation about it. And you know what? At a certain point you just have to let people make mistakes, even if they are life altering. Like Kendall says, a hard head makes a soft behind. And there won’t always be a soft spot to land, either.


Bag securing crosses gender lines

And you know what else we can learn? Black men like the good sis, uh, sir, Kenneth, can tap into traits typically characterized as “feminine” more easily than many black women. Like it or not, marriage is a level up technique that can serve someone for generations. Ken has secured his bag with ease, despite having more mugshots than prospects. He opted out of struggle by getting with a rich woman. And Nicki opted into struggle by getting with a criminal. How is it easier for a dude with manslaughter charges to be more hypergamous than black women? Black women are out here debating the value of a coffee date, meanwhile black men are not only taking you out for the struggle date in the first place, but using the money he didn’t spend on you, (or received from you post-divorce), on some other gal when he leaves!


For Nicki’s sake, I hope this marriage is just a publicity stunt to rile the masses and keep the attention on her as more and more black female rappers take the stage. If it’s legit though, I hope she has an exit strategy in mind because I believe that this union will end before her next album drops.


What are your thoughts on this? Share in the comments below.

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