Nicki Minaj Says 'Kill The DJ' And More After Multiple Audio Snafus Derailed Rolling Loud Appearance With Lil Wayne

For singers, rappers or performers of any kind, anything can happen when up on stage in front of a live crowd. Artists often have to deal with embarrassing falls, forgetting lyrics, hecklers in the audience or sometimes even mishaps resulting in major injuries. Audio issues were the cause of a particularly thorny response from Nicki Minaj after the rapper — and the throng of fans watching — was left frustrated during her return to the festival for a surprise appearance during Lil Wayne's set. After struggles with synced-up audio led to someone on the crew playing incorrect music multiple times, the rapper’s frustration spilled over in a message to the DJ and sound guy.

Lil Wayne was among the rappers to take the Rolling Loud stage on March 4 for the second night of the Los Angeles hip-hop fest, and he surprised his fans by bringing out Nicki Minaj — who headlined last year’s New York-based festival. The “Starships” artist wanted to celebrate the release of her latest single, “Red Ruby Da Sleeze,” but was forced to stop the music two times, yelling to somebody backstage to fix the mix. After a couple of more snafus, the rapper and model was clearly annoyed, saying: 

Kill the DJ. Kill the sound guy.

While the expression on Nicki Minaj’s face was the definition of nonplussed, she attempted to keep her cool, smiling through several starts and stops of her music. But the awkwardness of the situation was impossible to ignore with every few seconds that passed. 

She told the crowd to make some noise for themselves, and an amused Lil Wayne kept the mood light by dancing around to the beginnings of the songs that played while puffing on what may or may not have been a mood-lightening substance, before taking the opportunity to wish a friend happy birthday. By all means, it was the kind of issue's one might expect to see at a high school talent show, and not one of the biggest live rap performances of the year, as it was live-streaming on YouTube, no less.

The duo ended up performing Nicki Minaj’s song “Truffle Butter,” which featured Lil Wayne, before she exited the stage. The crowd seemed disappointed that things weren’t going as planned for Minaj’s Rolling Loud performance, and exasperated groans could seemingly be heard. You can watch it all go down in the video below, with Nicki Minaj making her entrance around the 30-minute mark, and things going downhill a few minutes later.

One Twitter user said they fully understood why the “Super Freaky Girl” was upset, but despite Nicki Minaj shading two specific members of the crew, festivalgoer DJ R-Tistic pointed out that the issues didn’t actually seem to be the fault of the DJ, since there were no other technical difficulties during the rest of Lil Wayne’s set. He wrote

I was there, n I actually don’t think it was on the DJ. It sounded like someone from the sound team was cueing the music, at least for her set. He had zero issues during Wayne’s set, and peep how it sounds as if they’re skipping thru songs on an iPad vs how DJs drop them in. Ehh

Then I guess she covered her ground well enough with her second swipe at the "sound guy." Not that she'd be quick to say "excuse me, Mr. DJ" before apologizing, at least not in th emoment.

Nicki Minaj is no stranger to conflict. She has a well-known and long-standing beef with Cardi B, and she was also accused of being “too rough” on The Real Housewives of Potomac stars when she co-hosted their reunion show. But surely Minaj has dealt with techincal difficulties before, and while it was certainly frustrating and disappointing that Nicki Minaj’s moment didn’t go as planned, this Rolling Loud blunder (probably) won’t go down as one of her biggest feuds

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.