All this time spent inside is a great reason to rethink past decisions, maybe like running a since-banned, tweetdecking Nicki Minaj stan account. Not that anyone we know has done that, but Lil Nas X did tweet today that “life is too short to pretend you’re not a barb,” referencing Nicki Minaj’s fans, the self-styled Barbies, and resurfacing questions about the stan account @nasmaraj, which used to share Minaj content and other jokes meant to go viral. But in case you’re unfamiliar with that account: It was suspended in March 2018 for tweetdecking, which is basically reposting from other not-so-popular accounts to chase a viral tweet. The Twitter account’s corresponding profile, u/nasmaraj, used to promote Lil Nas X music on various subreddits. The Twitter account was thought to be replaced by another account, @nasmarai (changing one letter in a handle being an old suspended-tweetdecker trick), which has tweets that now show up under Lil Nas X’s handle. As Brian Feldman reported for Intelligencer in 2019, the tweets from the two accounts share the same unique ID number at the end of the URL, meaning the user we now know as @LilNasX used to have the handle @nasmarai.
Yet Lil Nas X’s official stance has always been that he’s not a Barb — never mind a once-prominent Twitter user, which could make “Old Town Road” seem less of an organic viral hit. “Lil Nas X’s team has reached out to us to confirm that Lil Nas X did not run a Nicki Minaj fanpage, despite Billboard’s initial reports,” Billboard wrote in March 2019 to correct a story about Lil Nas X’s rise.
When a fan asked, “Wtf is a barb,” Lil Nas replied, “It’s hard to explain. It’s like a feeling and a state of being.” (Though not to be confused with Bachelor Peter Weber’s mother, of course.) And it definitely doesn’t have to be someone behind a Twitter account. Although, we do know Nicki Minaj could use the stan power right about now, since she may have chosen this moment to wage war against Beyoncé herself.