The 45-year-old shared a statement on Instagram to address the “misunderstanding with a quote taken from an interview” he did earlier this week.
“I’m an advocate of artistic freedom and expression as well as a fan of Nicki, Cardi, and Meagan [SIC],” he wrote, going on to say he would “never disrespect them by any means.”
“I wholeheartedly apologize to each of them for the inconvenience they have been caused due to a snippet of my interview being used as a headline, and in turn creating controversy and disconnect between me and these ladies as well as their fans.”
CeeLo, whose given name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, spoke to Far Out magazine on Sunday about the music industry and his latest work.
In one part of the interview, he talked about Minaj as an artist and said: “You have the ‘Heads of State,’ like Nicki Minaj or someone who is up there in accolade: success, visibility, a platform to influence. Nicki could be effective in so many other constructive ways, but it feels desperate.”
He said that “attention is also a drug and competition is around,” calling attention to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion and their new song, “WAP.”
The two “are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all,” he said, before asking: “It comes at what cost?”
Fans couldn’t help but call out the “Crazy” singer for calling out female rappers, but not holding “male rappers at the same status.”
Megan The Stallion also tweeted about the double standard amid fans addressing it, but did not address CeeLo’s remarks:
Since it dropped over the weekend, “WAP” has made a splash on the internet with its raunchy lyrics.
Conservatives such as commentator Ben Shapiro and James P. Bradley, the Republican candidate for a heavily Democratic House district in the Los Angeles area, did some very public pearl-clutching about the song.
“WAP” is unquestionably a bop and continues to dominate the charts, so it doesn’t really matter what the haters say: Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion are still getting paid.