A scene from a documentary of hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj discussing a "crazy boy" named "Roman" has been making the rounds online and prompting a debate on whether the Trinidad and Tobago-born recording artist is speaking of demon possession, an alter ego similar to Beyonce's "Sasha Fierce," or some type of personality disorder.
The clip in question is from an MTV documentary on Minaj (born Onika Tanya Maraj) called "My Time Now" that aired in Nov. 2010.
The 27-year-old rapper, or femcee, first revealed "Roman Zolanski" as her alter ego during an Oct. 2010 collaboration for a song called "Roman's Revenge" with rapper Eminem (who often goes by his alter ego Slim Shady).
In the MTV documentary, Minaj explains: "Roman is a crazy boy who lives in me and he says the things that I don't want to say. He was born just a few months ago. I think he was born out of rage. He was conceived in rage so he bashes everyone and he threatens to beat people and he's violent."
This week, viewers seeing the clip, perhaps for the first time, debated whether the Queens, New York rapper needed an "exorcism" or was just playing up a gimmick.
"It seems like all these celebrities claim to have some kind of alter ego/personality... Beyonce, Lady Gaga, now Niki... I think they are just doing it for publicity and attention [sic]. They're just making a character of themselves. Or they're possessed," wrote "whathefarmersaw" on YouTube.
One viewer, "vizion24," was very adamant about Minaj's alleged ties to the occult: "Don't be deceived. In fact, many pop 'musicians' are demon possessed using their worldly, carnal music to pull people away from God and pushing Satan's agenda."
Countering that claim was a remark from "Beckyalisa101," who wrote: "She's not demon possessed, idiot. She has split personalities. It's basically like multiple people living in one body. And how is she demon possessed if she said in a song that God has blessed with everything she has? [You're] so ignorant."
On a Christian chat forum featuring the video, commenter Andre'a Danielle Sizemore found that the 47-second clip revealed that Minaj "allowed a demonic spirit to manifest inside of her, when at first it didn't leave, she made her peace with it and accepted in her life."
Others on the forum, however, pointed out that if Minaj is possessed, then Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and the numerous other celebrities who have presented alter egos must also be possessed.
Paul J. Jerome, felt the discussion, although treated lightly and dismissed by others, pointed to a deeper issue:
"One thing to know about music is that it is one of the most powerful tool out there to reach people in away that even powerful speakers wish they had... So when we are listening to music what 'spirit of worship' are we inviting into our soul?"
It is not clear why new discussion has emerged on the clip featuring Minaj's explanation of "Roman," but it could be tied to the recording artist's recent release of a single called "Roman in Moscow" as well as buzz about Minaj premiering a music video for the song in the coming weeks. The recording artist's second full length album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," also debuts in February of next year.
Minaj, who grew up with an abusive and alcoholic father, reportedly developed personas to help her cope with a tumultuous household and extended those characters into her music career. She was reportedly raised a Christian and during the holidays, pointed her more than 8,000,000 Twitter followers to John 3:16. Minaj has won several awards since her 2010 debut album, "Pink Friday."