Like Miley Cyrus before him, shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti has just been "What's good?"ed by Nicki Minaj.
The rap sensation started beef earlier today when she called the designer out on his use of her name in over twenty-three of his designs. Predictably taking to Twitter to throw around her accusations, the rapper accused Zanotti of "racism and disrespect" for avoiding her phone calls in regards to the use of her name.
Zanotti is known for regularly dedicating the style names of his shoes to certain female celebrities, with names such as Jen, Betty, Bridget and Andrea populating the products section on his website. At the time of Nicki's tweets, Zanotti had a total of twenty-three shoes with the name "Nicki" on his website: although it's never been clearly stated how many of these are dedicated to Minaj specifically. Minaj has no rights to the shoes and has apparently not been consulted after the first pair of shoes was named after her.
According to Nicki, she had met Zanotti years before, at which point he told her that she had inspired him to design a sneaker in her honour; the same pair she would go on to wear on the cover of Cosmo. In an interview with Footwear News magazine, the designer said, "I love a lot of celebrities, especially from the music world: Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. They are style icons and have great talent. Their music entwines with art and entertainment, so they can be inspirational for a designer". Minaj referenced the shoes in her hit single 'Pound the Alarm', with the line "Skeeza, pleeza, I'm in Ibiza/Giuseppe Zanotti, my own sneaker".
Everything seemed to be okay until Zanotti announced a capsule collection in partnership with Jennifer Lopez earlier this year. Nicki reached out to Zanotti's team with the intention of suggesting her own collaboration, but was apparently told that the shoemaker would not take her call, and she took to Twitter to vent her frustrations. For her part Jennifer, who has recently started dating Minaj's eternal love interest Drake, has apparently called the remarks "petty".
In a testament to her international fanbase, the hashtag started by Minaj - #GiuseppeWhatsGood - later became a worldwide trending topic. It was later revealed that Zanotti's team had also pulled all twenty-three of the shows named "Nicki" down from their website.
For our part, we think Nicki needs to take several steps back (preferably not while wearing her Zanotti's) and realise how much of a first world problem this is. There are people in the world who would be glad to have a pair of dollar store sandals on their feet and artists who would be hugely honoured to have a design named after them, which makes us wonder why Minaj is taking the issue so personally. It sounds to us more like a case of bitterness and upset that Zanotti's team don't think her relevant or talented enough to work together rather than a case of disrespect as Minaj claims - and exploding into rants about sexism and racism isn't doing much to help her situation.
What do you think about the beef? Does Nicki have a point about Zanotti's use of her name or has she let the fame go to her head? Let us know in the comments down below!