Billboard chose to honor women in music last night, but one woman made a decision to pay tribute to a man whose music also touched lives.
Nicki began her speech by thanking Billboard for being the only event to get her "dressed" in the last month before dedicating most of her speech to the late rapper. The "Lucid Dreams" rapper suffered a fatal seizure at Chicago's Midway International Airport after consuming a vast amount of Percocet pills. She told the crowd, "I know this is a Women In Music night and I'm so honored to be in the presence of all of these great women...it doesn't feel comfortable for me to talk about me when someone so important to our culture just died". "He said that he had been trying to do just that".
The statement was, of course, in reference to Juice Wrld, who tragically passed away nearly a week ago at 21-years-old.
In a new interview with Billboard, Nicki said she is not really done with rapping and added: "I love music and interacting with fans, so I can't really see taking myself completely away".
"I want to honor him tonight and send my condolences to him and his family and his girlfriend and his friends and everybody", she concluded.
She went on to call Juice, real name Jarad Higgins, a "kindred spirit" who was passionate about those he loved and the music he was making, and expressed regret for not doing "something to help".
"Drugs aren't the problem, it's the way we fix our problems", she said.
The five-minute-long speech was filled with encouragement and empowerment for everyone who may be struggling with mental health issues. "We can't have a bad day", she said. "It can't be that hard.' But it takes a lot of energy", she says. And that's abnormal. It's abnormal to be "on" all the time.
"But that makes absolutely no f-king sense", Minaj continued.
We salute you, Miss Minaj. "He was honest and pure about what he felt and that inspired me", she shared, before noting that she felt the need to pay tribute to Juice while receiving her award because he deserved to be honored in front of his peers.