Nicki Minaj has come under fire at 'American Idol' in the past few weeks because of her perceived harsh criticism, but the 'Freedom' rapper insists that it's all coming from a good place: one of love and honesty.

"When I speak in a blunt way, like I do, people take that as me not loving or caring about these people, but I really do," Minaj told The Hollywood Reporter. "They are family to me, I feel like I'm not doing them a service if I blow smoke up their a--. I refuse to do that."

When pressed to chat about other judges' strategies -- which include longwinded explanations and "going on and on and on" -- Minaj grinned but didn't bite. "I don't know," she smiled. "To each his own! And everyone's entitled to do what they like to do." Looks like this lady has learned a lot of diplomacy during her time on the panel!

Minaj also admitted that the tears she cried for Burnell Taylor were genuine, because his heartbreaking story reminded her of her own upbringing. "When I see someone come from nothing ... Burnell not only had a beautiful story, but he also had such a unique voice and such a unique spirit. Those tears were real for Burnell."