Here’s how Nicki Minaj’s “Miley, what’s good?” clap back at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards inspired one of the funniest memes of the past few years. MTV’s VMAs have been an arena for the airing of celebrity beef since time immemorial, or at least since they were first held in 1984. The VMAs are where Courtney Love threw stuff at Madonna back in 1995 and where Eminem threatened to beat up Moby in 2002. And who could forget that time Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech in 2009 to tell her – and the world – Beyoncé should’ve won the Best Female Video award rather than her?


But not all VMA celebrity feuds inspire their own meme, nor one as enduring as Nicki Minaj’s “Miley, what’s good?,” which requires some history to explain. The seeds of the meme were planted a month prior to the 2015 MTV VMAs when Minaj took to Twitter to voice her frustrations over “Anaconda” not being nominated for Video of the Year despite its massive pop cultural impact. After Minaj suggested her exclusion from the award category had something to with the fact that “Anaconda” wasn’t skinny white woman-focused, Taylor Swift – whose “Bad Blood” video was nominated and went on to win – took it as an indirect hit aimed at her.

Although Minaj and Swift patched things up Miley Cyrus, who was hosting the 2015 VMAs, chimed in on the matter a few days before the ceremony in an interview with The New York Times Magazine, in which she called Minaj’s very legitimate points “not very polite.” Come the night of the ceremony, Minaj stepped up to accept the award for Best Hip-Hop Video for “Anaconda” and had a few choice words for Cyrus. After making the usual thank-yous, Minaj turned to host Cyrus and said: “And now, back to this b**** who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, What’s good?” And so a meme was born.

Almost immediately, people started trolling Miley Cyrus on Instagram with “Miley, what’s good?” and Etsy was flooded with t-shirts, buttons and phone cases emblazoned with the phrase. Meanwhile, meme-makers sprang into action and adopted Minaj’s words for a whole host of hilarious scenarios. Some of the funniest memes were pretty simple, like using “Miley, what’s good?” as a response to “When Miley Cyrus takes you to her favorite restaurant and you don’t know what to eat”. Others cleverly translated Minaj’s words into similarly themed film moments, like Harry Potter and Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire or Captain America and Tony Stark’s argument in Captain America: Civil War.

Although the heyday of “Miley, what’s good?” has passed, it enjoyed something of an inverted revival a couple of years ago at the 2017 MTV VMAs when Minaj’s rival Remy Ma called her out with “Nicki, what’s good?” Expect to see another resurgence of Nicki Minaj’s “Miley, what’s good?” next time the rapper goes public with another celebrity feud.

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