Why We're Worried About Nicki Minaj's Relationship With Kenneth Petty

Nicki Minaj appeared to confirm that she and Kenneth Petty, whom she'd been dating since the previous November, planned on tying the knot in the early summer of 2019. Not long after in early September, the rapper took to Twitter to announce her shocking retirement from music. "I've decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now," Minaj (real name Onika Tanya Maraj) wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, X in the box- cuz ain't nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE."

The "MEGATRON" rapper later promised to address this bombshell news on her Queen Radio show, but aside from the ostensible end of Minaj's career, many fans are concerned about her relationship with Petty. The couple share a long history: Us Weekly reports that Minaj and Petty actually knew each other in high school — before the Trinidad and Tobago-born artist hit it big — and reunited after meeting up at a Thanksgiving charity event in their hometown of Queens, N.Y. Minaj received tons of backlash since first being publicly linked with Petty, but sources cited by TMZ claimed, "She's in love and he's not going anywhere." 

All that said, there may have been reason to not necessarily hope she raced down the aisle and out of the recording studio forever. Here's why we're worried about Nicki Minaj's relationship with Kenneth Petty.

Kenneth Petty has a long, terrifying rap sheet

Before becoming known as the future Mr. Nicki Minaj, Kenneth Petty had an alleged criminal history that would give most women pause. Court records obtained by TMZ revealed that Petty was convicted of first degree attempted rape in the mid-'90s, and reportedly served four years in a New York State prison for the reported offense. Minaj's decision to be with Petty was met with major backlash once this charge came to light, but his alleged violent history didn't end there. 

In 2002, Petty reportedly shot a man named Lamont Robinson three times in the abdomen, all in his and Minaj's shared hometown of Queens, N.Y., according to TMZ. Sources cited by the gossip rag claimed it was a coldblooded gang hit. Petty was initially charged with second degree murder, but pleaded down to first degree manslaughter, and was eventually released from prison in 2013 following another seven years behind bars. 

However, he supposedly couldn't stay out of trouble during this sentence: TMZ reports that Petty allegedly racked up a slew of violations, ranging from threats of violence and fighting to disobedience and creating a disturbance. He spent four months in solitary confinement and also "lost phone, recreation and commissary privileges" due to his alleged conduct.

Nicki Minaj defended him after his shady past was exposed

On a July 2019 episode of her Queen Radio show, Nicki Minaj lashed out at the critics of her relationship with Kenneth Petty. She particularly had words for those who'd dared to point out that his alleged criminal record and reported lack of known employment may have made him a less-than-ideal partner for a pop culture superstar — particularly when compared to the likes of exes Nas, Meek Mill and Safaree Samuels. 

Referencing the fact that she first met Petty when they were teenagers in Queens, Minaj snapped, "When a person is with a n***a that loved them before they had a dime in their pocket — how do you not understand that? How do you not understand happiness versus clout? How f**king dare you talk about lowering standards" (via E! News). The rapper added that she's happy that Petty isn't in the music nor entertainment industries and slammed other unnamed female rappers who allegedly exchanged sex for beats and press. "It's the truth," she claimed. "Money cannot buy me happiness and good sex." Point taken.

Did Kenneth Petty flash a gun on Instagram?

In light of Kenneth Petty's alleged criminal history, it's not surprising that many of Nicki Minaj's beloved "Barbies" were concerned when they believed he may have flashed a gun with an extended clip during an Instagram Live session in September 2019. The video in question, in which the couple engaged in their otherwise-usual PDA, has since been deleted. However, it sparked yet another massive wave of backlash. One fan, for example, tweeted of the alleged incident, "SIS .@NICKIMINAJ?! After countless mass shootings this summer, you let him walk into a live with your kindergarten fans watching with a gun in his pocket?! Are you DUMB?!" 

Meanwhile, another fan pointed out that Petty's reported history as a convicted felon was cause for concern for one particular reason: Apart from his prior convictions, depending on Petty's legal situation, possession of a firearm could potentially land him in hot water with authorities again. 

Kenneth Petty's baby mama drama is terrifying

Kenneth Petty reportedly shares a daughter with his ex, a New York City bartender named Noelle Dobie. In March 2019, Dobie posted an Instagram photo (which has since been deleted) of a bloody kitchen floor, claiming that a man came into her home and tried to kill her. 

"Thank god my daughter wasn't home and I'm thinking [sic] god I'm still alive," she wrote alongside prayer hand emojis (via Ace Showbiz). "Came to shoot me in my own home and dropped your gun!! I'm out of commission for a few. Pray for me." In subsequent — and potentially triggering — Instagram Stories, Dobie appeared visibly bruised and bloodied in her face, which was partially bandaged. However, she did not reveal the identity of her attacker. 

It should be noted that there's no evidence to suggest that Petty was connected to this brutal act in any way. However, it may raise concerns for Nicki Minaj's own safety due to both her involvement with him and her knowledge of his past, especially if they ever split.

Nicki Minaj was once accused of domestic violence

Nicki Minaj's ex, Safaree Samuels (pictured, left), once accused her of being physically violent to the point of cutting him badly enough that he needed to be hospitalized. Meanwhile, Minaj accused Samuels of financial abuse and freeloading. In August 2018, she alleged on Twitter that Safaree had stolen her credit cards and claimed in a radio interview that he'd used her money to pay for prostitutes and refused to get a job when they moved to Atlanta, Ga. together before she hit it big. 

For his part, Samuels denied the allegations in a tweet, before accusing Minaj of hooking up with Meek Mill while they were still together, and tweeting out that physical violence allegation: "Remember the night you cut me and i almost died the police and ambulance had to take me out the crib on a stretcher and I had to lie and tell them I was trying to kill myself so they wouldn't take you to jail. When things like that start happening more Than once it's time to dip." 

While Minaj never actually commented one way or another on this particular claim, she did tweet about supposedly paying for his hair restoration. Whatever went down between these two, it seems that this relationship — which lasted 12 years before their 2014 split, according to Us Weekly — wasn't necessarily a healthy one.

She admittedly has a history with toxic relationships

In September 2019, Nicki Minaj revealed that she's been in abusive situations in her past romantic life — but claimed that her current relationship with Kenneth Petty was very different from those she'd endured previously. 

"When u see a woman in a toxic relationship, rather than laugh & say mean things, try to offer sound advice from your heart & root for her to learn her worth," the music star tweeted. "We've all been there. I saw my parents fight & argue non stop & never divorce, so I thought this was normal behavior." She added in a follow-up tweet that any man who truly loves a woman would never belittle, beat or humiliate her, nor would he hide anything (including phone messages, etc.) from her.

"I remember being so afraid to speak cuz I never knew when that person would be in a particular mood and I could maybe say one wrong thing that would get me hit," Minaj went on to write via Twitter. "So the diff you see in me now is that feeling when a woman feels lifted up, safe, appreciated & unconditionally loved." She added, "I rlly [sic] used to think love had to hurt. So I could never look down on anyone else. We are merely human. It's not easy to leave."

Nicki Minaj may have just been in a hurry to settle down

No one can say for certain, but some believe Nicki Minaj may have rushed to settle down with Kenneth Petty in order to become a mom. The "Chun-Li" rapper told Complex back in 2014, "If I'm done with my fifth album and I don't have a child by then, no matter how much money I have, I would be disappointed, as a woman, because I feel like I was put here to be a mother." She added, "I have definitely put off the wife thing because I don't want people in my business. I'd rather not do anything that's going to be on paper but I definitely will be married before I have my baby. I want to make sure I do it in that order. I've always felt like that since I was young; my mother always put that in my head." 

Since Minaj was determined to be a wife before she became a mom, it may explain why she and Petty got their marriage license less than a year after going public. Of course, this is all purely speculation. And ultimately, we wish Nicki Minaj nothing but the best in her upcoming retirement and marriage with Kenneth Petty — so here's hoping all of these concerns will amount to a molehill rather than a mountain.

Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty are married!

Well, now they've really gone and done it: Nicki Minaj revealed on Instagram that she and Kenneth Petty officially tied the knot in late October 2019 — after less than a year of dating. The "Queen" rapper posted a video panning across a set of mugs that read "Mr." and "Mrs." and baseball caps embroidered with the words "Bride" and "Groom." She captioned the clip with, "Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty 10.21.19." 

At the time of this writing, it remains to be seen whether Minaj and Petty had a festive wedding or if they simply eloped in private. "We'll definitely do the paperwork portion of the marriage," she previously shared in an interview with The Shade Room. "But the actual wedding, I don't know." Explaining that she wasn't sure if she wanted a fancy ceremony, Minaj continued, "You know when you're a little girl and you want this big beautiful wedding, and I used to think I was one of those girls, I always wanted the [fairy tale]. But then the things that used to matter to you don't matter as much."

Meanwhile, a source cited by People shortly after the nuptials were announced echoed this sentiment. Claiming that the rapper wanted to keep their big day "low-key," the insider said, "She's become much more private over the last year, but she is very happy."

Congratulations to Minaj and Petty on their wedding news!