Over the past 72 hours, it seems one question has permeated throughout our entire pop culture lexicon, sparking wild social media debates, dominating the news, and even finding its way to the (not so) hallowed halls of the White House – What the actual f--k is going on with Nicki Minaj and Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles. 

“Ballgate” as Minaj dubbed it, started like most bizarre stories from the past several days – with Monday's Met Gala. As celebs began hitting the beige carpet in their Shrek-baby toting, pegging-inspired looks, the singer, a staple of the star-studded event, announced that she would not be in attendance. While Minaj, who had her first child last year, later clarified on social media that her reasoning for missing the gala was not wanting to travel with a young son, she for some reason decided to drag the Covid-19 jab into the mix, taking the opportunity to proclaim to the world that she was not, in fact, vaccinated.

They want you to get vaccinated for the Met,” the rapper explained on Twitter. “If I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now,” she continued, advising fans to “be safe” and “wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face" as opposed to “that loose one.” 

While Minaj didn't specify what kind of “loose one” she was referencing (I'm not gonna even touch that one), and later added that she would get a Covid-19 jab in order to go on tour, recommending workers do so as well, it seems there was another important message the artist wanted to broadcast loud and clear to her platform of nearly 23 million followers  – her cousin's friend apparently has some really swollen nuts.

“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent,” Minaj later wrote. “His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied."

Aside from providing an instruction manual for how unfaithful men can attempt to convince their spouse-to-be that their swollen balls are most definitely not the byproduct of a bachelor party gone wild, the post also alluded to the spread of another disease, one that is somehow not sexually transmitted – the epidemic of misinformation surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine.  

For some time now, The CDC has debunked bogus claims connecting the jab to infertility and other reproductive conditions. On their website, the agency states that Covid-19 vaccines have not been shown to cause infertility, erectile dysfunction, or massive ballsacks, a sentiment Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who must surely be exhausted with a population that’s gradually growing more and more nuts (pun entirely intended), reiterated during an interview with CNN.

"There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen," Fauci told host Jake Tapper when asked about the rapper's statement. “So the answer to your question is no."

Fauci later went on to advise the musician to be mindful about the information she spreads to her tens of millions of fans. "There's a lot of misinformation, mostly on social media, and the only way we know to counter mis and disinformation is to provide a lot of correct information," he added later in the interview. "And to essentially debunk these kinds of claims, which may be innocent on her part. I'm not blaming her for anything but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis."

Fauci was not the only global health official to condemn the artist's statements. "As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad... and none that we know of anywhere in the world," said Terrence Deyalsingh, the health minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean nation where Minaj was born and the alleged ball-swelling incident supposedly went down. 

UK health officials and Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sounded off on the matter. “I am not as familiar with the works of Nicki Minaj as I probably should be,” Johnson said. "But I am familiar with Nikki Kanani, a superstar GP of Bexley who has appeared many times before you, who will tell you vaccines are wonderful and everybody should get them.”

It seems Minaj did not take so kindly to the British PM not being a Barbz (a.k.a a fan of her music), leaving the lawmaker a bizarre, voice memo on Twitter in a fake British accent so terrible, it made Dick Van Dyke's Mary Poppins character sound like Jude Law.

“I was just calling to say you were amazing on the news this morning," the star said before claiming she's secretly British and attended Oxford alongside “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” hype woman, former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. "I'd love to send you my portfolio of my work, since you don't know much about me, I'm a big, big star in the United States."

Outside of the political sphere, Minaj's tale of third-party testicular woe went viral among Barbz and the Barbz adjacent – which just so happened to be all of Twitter. While much of the internet had an absolute field day with Minaj's wild story …

… adding “cousin's friend with swollen balls" to the list of weird anti-vaxxer rationales …

… and even taking a moment to acknowledge the real star of this year's Met Gala …

… others were still divided over who to trust when it comes to the jab – actual medical professionals or a rapper who apparently thinks Street Fighter's Chun-Li is a villain

Yet just like most news stories featuring even the teeniest scrap of vaccine skepticism, Minaj's tweets found their way into the clutches of America's most annoying fake log cabin and bow tie enthusiast – Fox News's Tucker Carlson.

So our media and public health officials didn't like this because they make their livings bullying people, so they couldn't let it stand,” the sex-crazed panda expert said during a recent episode of his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, a clip of which Minaj inexplicably decided to re-tweet alongside a bullseye emoji. 

Just four minutes after her apparent Carlson endorsement, Minaj took to Twitter with another announcement – her questions regarding vaccines had reached the highest office in the nation. 

The White House has invited me & I think it’s a step in the right direction,” she revealed in reply to a tweet saying she should speak at the United Nations. “Yes, I’m going. I’ll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business. I’ll ask questions on behalf of the ppl who have been made fun of for simply being human," she continued, ending her post with "#BallGate day 3"

Unfortunately for us Elle Woods stans, it seems we may never see the artist's IRL remake of Legally Blonde: Red, White, and Blonde.

“We're not even at the point of discussing, I should say, at this point, the mechanisms or format or anything along those lines,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday, per CNN. "It was simply an offer to have a conversation," adding that their discussion with Minaj would be a “very early-stage call at a staff level,” something Psaki says is “pretty standard.”

However as some have speculated, it seems Minaj's emphatic involvement in this drama may not be entirely due to her apparent passion for publicly discussing people's nuts. Last week, the artist's husband Kenneth Petty, made headlines after pleading guilty to failing to register as a sex offender in California after moving to the state in July 2019, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

In 1995, Petty, who was 16 at the time, was convicted of first-degree attempted rape, for which he served four years in prison. Petty was classified as a “level two registered offender” in New York, People magazine reported, which according to the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services, means he is deemed to be at a "moderate risk of repeat offense."  He was later arrested after a November 2019 traffic stop, in which authorities learned he allegedly failed to submit relevant paperwork after moving states.

More recently, the woman who Petty allegedly sexually assaulted in 1995 accused both Petty and Minaj of harassment and intimidation in a lawsuit last August, which claims she “and her family suffered an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits” from individuals she said were associated with the couple, following his 2019 arrest, the New York Times reported. 

So folks, if there's anything to glean from this entire monstrosity it's this – just get vaccinated. Please. I don't know how many more zoom parties I can stand. 

Top Image: Shutterstock

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

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