Since the 1980s, the music industry is no stranger to male rappers lyrically going head to head in a testosterone driven battle to disseminate who is the best at whatever title they conceived; best freestyle, best verse, most bars etc… Today, rap battles evolved into a sometimes vicious dismantling of one’s character, writing ability and is some cases one’s career. We’ve seen this during last year’s battle between Drake and Meek Mill, which left Meek Mill “… bodied…,” and his lackluster response, left his rap career hanging in the balance.
Similarly, in the 90’s, the fight between Jay-Z and Nas, to be crowned New York’s #1 rapper, proved whose lyrics could flourish years later; Jay Z’s. Rap battles do have their perks, as Ice Cube’s feud with NWAs members, Easy E and Dr. Dre, solidified his career successes as a solo artist.
After numerous back and forths between the two rappers; Remy Ma on All The Way Up and Nicki Minaj on Black Barbies, Minaj escalated the beef through her collaboration on Gucci Mane’s song Make Love, where she went in on Remy Ma. Remy Ma responded on February 25th by dropping shETHER, a whopping 7 minutes of pure unadulterated lyrical genius, where she not only aired out Minaj’s dirty laundry (whether true or not remains to be proved), but proceeded to rip Minaj a new one.
Remy Ma’s rap career started in the early 2000’s as part of Fat Joe’s Terror Squad. Remy was a rising star until a 2007 late night shooting sidetracked her burgeoning career. Since her release in 2016, Remy has made it known that she wants her shot to claim the female rap thrown by any means necessary. Through lyrically discrediting the completion or sheer pettiness.
In a 2017 article, Kathy Iandoli, contributor for Billboard.com states, “Nicki Minaj was the first female rapper to penetrate the mainstream since Lauryn Hill …” Since the release and success of her Pink Friday album, Minaj has enjoyed sitting on the thrown and being touted as the #1 female rapper. But why? Is Nicki Minaj that fabulous? Or could it possibly be, that her rise to fame came during a time when there was little to no competition?
But before you send that complaint, look at it this way. Beyoncé has earned the title of Queen Bee, not only from some awards won, albums sold and songs downloaded but by beating out others in her craft; Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez and countless others. Yes, Beyoncé did not win the 2016 Grammy for Record of the Year (My letter to the Grammy board is in the mail), but even the winner, Adele during her acceptance speech stated, “I can’t possibly accept this award … I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but my life is Beyoncé.” Let’s face it, Adele is correct, as most women who want to be empowered, lives is Beyoncé.
In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the competition to be the top female rapper, well, was actually a completion. The radio waves were filled with songs from female rappers; Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Missy Elliot and Eve. In Nicki Minaj’s case, at the time of her rise, she was the only female rapper on the airwaves. Now don’t get me wrong, yes, Nicki Minaj has won numerous award. Yes, she has topped music charts. And yes, she has millions of followers on various social media outlets. However, this battle is not based on who has the most.
This fight is a competition for the throne based on lyrical content. And for that, for now, Remy Ma has won. However, in a society where “cash rules everything around me,” the award goes to Nicki Minaj. I spoke to a self-proclaimed rap coinsure about this current beef, and he stated, “Nicki is a lady and way more successful than Remy will ever be, so with that being said, as long as she reaches down to respond to struggling artists, she loses no matter what. Do I think Remy is a better lyricist, yes but Nicki is now, she is a brand.” In a time of the forced #GlowUp, the hope of Instagram popularity and being a #BossB!&%h, then yes, Nicki Minaj wins.
It has only been a few days since Remy Ma’s diss record, so we have yet to hear a response from Nicki Minaj. Know this, it’s coming! We don’t know when, but we all know it’s coming, and many of us are here for it. Now, I’m not into giving advice to anyone whose bank account makes mine look as if I am one step away from the poor house. However, as suggested by Remy Ma, Dear Nicki Minaj: If you take anything away from the current predicament you find yourself in, please, please, please let it be this, “never bring a knife to a gun fight” or a rap battle for that matter.