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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith appears in a promotional photo for American Idol. / Nicki Minaj appears in a 2012 promotional photo for American Idol. - Provided courtesy of FOX / Michael Becker

Steven Tyler criticizes 'American Idol's Nicki Minaj, rapper fires back on Twitter

11/26/2012 by Nichole Hamilton

Steven Tyler recently spoke his mind about new "American Idol" judge Nicki Minaj, criticizing the rapper's judging abilities prior to the show's season 12 premiere.

"You just have to give your opinion," Tyler told MTV News in a story they posted on November 26. "It wasn't hard for me, but I would imagine it's hard for some people, and they need a manager to say 'Shut the [expletive] up, and just give them your opinion.' These kids, they just got out of a car from the Midwest somewhere and they're in New York City, they're scared to death; you're not going to get the best [out of them] ... If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying."

Tyler, 64, appeared on the hit FOX series for seasons 10 and 11 alongside fellow judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. In July 2012, both Tyler and Lopez announced that they would be departing from the popular singing series, and in September, it was announced that the new judging panel would consist of Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.

Minaj took to her Twitter account to respond to Tyler's comments, firing back in multiple posts to her nearly 15 million followers.

"Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield??? Steven, you haven't seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet!" the rapper Tweeted on November 26. "I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers. I haven't done anything to you. That's a racist comment," she continued in another Tweet.

"When Steven 1st went on Idol he was ridiculed by his peers & fans alike. Called a sell out. So what does he do? Ridicule the next judge," she Tweeted.

While the upcoming season doesn't premiere until January 2013, the show has already made headlines due to an expletive-filled confrontation between judges Carey and Minaj -- which was captured on video and went viral after the clip leaked online. While the rapper has recently come forward to say that she and Carey are now getting along "fine," Tyler said that he thinks the judges need more "camaraderie."

"I know that they've got something going on on the judges' panel, [and] it shouldn't be that, it should be just the opposite: They should have something going on, which is called 'camaraderie,'" Tyler continued. "They should have something going on so thick and beautiful that they can lay it over the new talent that's trying to birth itself. It needs to be birthed, not judged by 'entertainment' factors, it needs to be judged by people that [are] honest, true, that have the 'it' factor. Not the 'it' factor because they can fight. The [expletive] is that all about?"

On November 19, Minaj talked to "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest on his morning show, saying that she feels "scared" about "Idol"s debut, and hopes that she doesn't come off too mean in her comments.

"I'm scared. I don't know [why]," Minaj told Seacrest on his KIIS FM morning show. "Maybe I shouldn't have been so like ... It's hard for me to not say how I really feel. I'm having a hard time [with how honest I am sometimes]. 'Cause everyone else is so nice. I mean, I dunno."

Watch the newest promotional commercial for "American Idol" below.

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