*Update: On July 9, Nicki Minaj announced the cancelation of her appearance in Saudi Arabia. Read updated story here.
Saudi Arabia recently announced that the queen of rap Nicki Minaj is set to headline the Jeddah World Fest in just two weeks ... and the news had the world talking.
Saudis were left pretty divided, with some harshly criticizing the decision to host the U.S.-based rapper in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
Those against the rapper's upcoming performance felt Minaj and her music go against the country's values. After all, the star has her own alcoholic beverage, MYX, and uses profanity as well as sexual and drug innuendos in her songs. The queen and the kingdom couldn't stand any further from each other on the spectrum of morality.
As for Saudi women, a number expressed their anger at the decision of hosting a rapper who's known for her revealing outfits and explicit lyrics - especially considering modest dress codes are still imposed on women in the country.
However, many others opposed those voicing their rage and argued that the kingdom is moving towards an era of advancement and openness. As the backlash continues, we asked a few Saudis to express their thoughts and weigh in on the ongoing controversy.
Here's what they told us:
"I don't think there's anything wrong with it"
Many locals are fans of the Trinidadian rapper and can't wait to see her live for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with it and I personally enjoy her music and can't wait to watch her perform in Jeddah," Dana, a Saudi graphic designer, told StepFeed.
"We watch her videos on YouTube, we listen to her songs online, so what's the issue with her performing live? It's not like we've never seen her before," she added.
According to the 28-year-old, the current backlash was expected though she's not part of it. "The kingdom is changing, we need to embrace this change that so many of us have always wanted. It's no longer acceptable to force everyone to be the same."
Dana's argument stands at this simple logical thinking: "No one is forced to attend the concert if it goes against their values. It's a personal choice, if you want to go, you pay for a ticket and attend, if not, you skip it."
"I can't wait for it"
Other youngsters are not just happy with the concert, but are over the moon as they're massive fans.
"I was jumping up and down, ululating, just going crazy. I thought my sister was joking when she first told me but then I saw the news on Twitter and it's amazing," Sara, a 20-year-old Saudi, said.
"I am so happy I am going to get to see her perform in my own country and I can't wait for it," she added.
Nicki Minaj performing at the biggest summer festival in Saudi Arabia is a proof of change, Sara believes, and everyone will get to witness that. In case people forgot, "Mariah Carey performed and didn't violate any of the kingdom's rules," she argued.
"Isn't this better than flying out to attend concerts?"
"People are saying it's hypocritical for her to perform in Saudi Arabia when her songs are mostly about things that are considered a taboo in the kingdom but that's not true," Khaled, a 25-year-old Saudi entrepreneur, told us.
"What's really hypocritical is the fact that many of those criticizing the entire thing would've attended the performance if it were happening outside the kingdom," he explained.
Saudis complained for decades about the need to travel to neighboring country Bahrain for concerts and movies. "Now, we're complaining about concerts being held in Saudi? I don't get it, isn't this better than flying out to attend concerts?" Khaled questioned.
He's upset over the controversy that's been caused over Minaj's upcoming performance, arguing that "attendance is voluntary" and that "it's not fair to ban people from going just because you're against similar shows."
"I can't even imagine how she's going to perform"
Now, as we make our way into the opposition's arguments, things get feisty. Abdullah, a 29-year old businessman, can't fathom the idea of Nicki Minaj performing in his country.
"Have you heard her songs? Have you seen her music videos? I can't even imagine how she's going to perform. I mean we're a country that bans both men and women from dancing on stage, what is she going to do here? I am against her performance because it just honestly doesn't work with our societal norms and values."
Abdullah recalled the dabbing ban that was imposed a few years ago in Saudi Arabia - since it was said to promote drugs - and compared it to Minaj's songs.
"This is what's bothering me about the whole thing, not the concert itself but the way it contradicts everything we've been told not to do in the kingdom," he lamented.
Despite his stance, Abdullah hopes attendees will enjoy their time and "they come out of it less confused than I am at this point."
"They could've paid someone else to headline"
Latifa, a 31-year-old Saudi woman, can't handle the fact that Minaj is set to perform in Jeddah. She wondered if authorities ever saw any of her performances before.
"Everything she does is just too provocative when compared to how we live here. I can't even understand why they picked her in specific, I mean there are so many artists who could've been a better fit. They could've paid someone else to headline," she told StepFeed.
There are a lot of mixed signals, according to Latifa, that will confuse people.
"How do you expect us to be OK with the way she dances and all the profanities in her songs when none of them are acceptable in our culture or lives? The way she dresses is not something that's even allowed here. I don't know it's just so bizarre for me to be honest."
"Even if they asked her to tone things down and to respect the kingdom's modest dress code, I don't think that'll help," she explained.
"Everything she stands for is against our values"
Another local, 34-year-old Mohamed, is shocked with the news of the concert and can't see many people attending it.
"I know most of those around me aren't going to attend something like this. You can't expect Nicki Minaj to stand on stage and not move or dance. You can't expect her to change the lyrics to her songs," he said.
"I am completely against her concert in specific because everything she stands for is against our values," he added.
Though Mohamed isn't against concerts in general, he believes there should be guidelines when it comes to selecting performers.
"It's great to see concerts and other events taking place in the kingdom, but this is just taking it too far for us. There must be specific rules that officials follow when they're deciding who comes to perform in the kingdom. Some stars are a better fit to host [a] concert here than others," he explained.