It’s been just over a week since the 2018 MTV Video Awards—and exactly a week since Nicki Minaj’s longtime hairstylist Kim Kimble engaged in a public tête-à-tête with Cardi B’s mane man, Tokyo Stylez, after the latter insulted Minaj’s VMA hairstyle. In the aftermath, it seems the fur kept flying, since as of Monday, it suddenly appears Minaj has re-staffed her glam squad.
The rumors began swirling when Minaj posted a video to social media earlier this week which showed her in the process of prepping for an unidentified appearance. Her unicorn-colored wig was being curled by a stylist who was clearly not Kimble. The lucky guy? SZA’s go-to artist Tae, apparently wooed away (at least temporarily) by Minaj, who cryptically asked her followers to “Welcome him to the Kingdom, y’all.”
Tae was far less coy about the opportunity to work with Minaj, posting multiple expressions of gratitude to God and his newest celebrity client, writing: “If anybody knows me knows I always say “I WANNA SLAY NICKI, I WANNA BE NICKI HAIR STYLIST” n now look.”
No word on whether the personnel change will be permanent, but Kimble and Minaj have reportedly unfollowed each other on social media—and that’s not all: popular makeup artist and Instagram personality Aaliyah Jay appears to have taken the place of beloved artist Sheiks in Minaj’s camp, not only garnering credit for the makeup in Minaj’s post, but writing her own Instagram caption:
“[I]sn’t it crazy how much of a Nicki fan I am and now I’m spending my days and nights with her, working on amazing things.”
Surprisingly, these new hires come after a longstanding and seemingly successful creative collaboration between Kimble, Sheiks and Minaj, which recently included a July cover of Elle magazine, an August cover of Harper’s Bazaar Russia, and Minaj’s first-ever September cover for Vogue Arabia.
But of course, the reshuffling also comes amidst several weeks of complaints, controversies and conspiracy theories from Minaj, during which she’s compared herself to Harriet Tubman and publicly implicated and insulted fellow artists, record execs and even Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner’s baby daughter as the cause for the second place debut of her latest and heavily-promoted album, Queen.
The turmoil surrounding the album has led several to speculate that the upheaval in Minaj’s glam squad is yet another attempt to assign blame for what she considers an underperforming release—or, at worst, a publicity stunt that may have now cost several people their jobs (no word on whether a new wardrobe stylist is on board, as well).
Regardless, Minaj worked with some of the best; and should the rumors prove true, we have no doubt that like her, they’ll be just fine, as she isn’t the only celebrity on their rosters. We just wish—for everyone’s sake—that it hadn’t played out so publicly. Because frankly, it’s not a good look.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)