The rapper said she would pay international airfare for contest winners, so a US student asked for help with tuition. Six minutes later, Minaj tweeted her offer
Nicki Minaj was getting all the credit, with Twitter humming around the world in praise of her decision to spend thousands of dollars of her own money helping out impoverished American college students. But none of that would have happened without the chutzpah of CJ.
It was 19 minutes after midnight on Sunday morning when CJ, a 21-year-old student working two jobs to pay her college fees, dropped her tweet. She had just seen a message from Minaj to her international fans – the rapper said she would pay their airfare from any country should they win a contest to spend time with her at the upcoming Billboard music awards in Las Vegas.
It was all very well for Minaj to help out fans from around the world with plane tickets, CJ thought, but what about those struggling in the US, who couldn’t even afford to go to school? “Well you wanna pay for my tuition,” she tweeted back at the star.
Over the next few hours, a flood of other hard-pressed students joined CJ in putting out distress messages to Minaj. And the star duly replied, offering support to more than 30 of them in the form of tuition or help in paying off college loans.
The beneficiaries included Liyah, who asked for $1,548 to enroll in college for next year plus $250 for books; a fan named Onika who needed $700 to pay off back loans before she could return to school; and Ashley who, like Minaj, comes from Queens, New York. She asked for $500, to pay off her tuition.
“Got u,” Minaj replied.
In each case the rapper asked her fans to send her proof of their grades – which had to be straight As – and of their financial need, by Twitter direct message. Lest anyone thought it might have been a publicity stunt, the website TMZ confirmed with at least one fan that they had already received $500 from the celebrity.
Shortly after 1am, Minaj felt she had forked out enough promises of thousands of dollars and decided to call it a night.