Brianna Ross @itsbriross
Nicki Minaj was lyrically murdered in the media by old-school rapper Remy Ma. Recently, Remy set Twitter on fire with the release of her diss track “ShETHER.”
The Bronx rapper went on a seven-minute rampage scrutinizing and devaluing Nicki Minaj’s status as the self-proclaimed queen of rap. She left no stone unturned and went in on personal digs towards Nicki.
The unforgiving slander included in the song, “ShETHER” made Drake’s “Back to Back” sound like a Kidz Bob rendition.
The latest update to the Remy and Minaj ten-year rivalry left fans in anticipation for Minaj’s response. She chose to retaliate outside of the booth and took to social media instead.
Two posts to Minaj’s Instagram account indirectly fired shots back at Remy. The first came as an endorsement from Beyoncé and the other, a nod at Remy’s poor sales on her latest project.
Historically speaking, that isn’t how artistic rivalries work.
With the launch of “ShETHER,” Remy looked back at an age-old institution in the world of hip-hop, the rap battle.
A rap battle is just that: a battle – a back and forth competition of rhymes. Once two artists engage with one another, in the traditional sense of a rap battle, nothing matters except what is actually said in the rhymes.
Previous record sales, outside notoriety and even recognition from icons like Beyoncé are irrelevant, unless you can inject that into the conversation via a verse. In a sense, all that matters are punch lines and flow.
Rap battles are about getting personal and breaking down an opponent in the eyes of the audience. The winner of a battle is ultimately whoever can verbally trump the other person.
This not only requires ammunition, but also wittiness and clever wordplay – it is an art form.
The general speculation is that Minaj would want to defend her crown as the self-proclaimed “rap queen,” but it is highly unlikely that she will actually get in the booth to respond.
After all, Minaj’s core audience is not mainly composed of hip-hop buffs but rather fans of pop music.
Conscious of that fact, Minaj prophetically addressed this in Lil Wayne’s “Sweet Dreams” when she said, “Nicki ain’t a rapper, Nicki is a brander.”
Over the scope of her career, Minaj has transcended rap and made her way into the world of pop. Similar to the way that Taylor Swift transcended country music and projected herself into the pop world.
This means that her fans don’t necessarily care who the best artist is lyrically nor do they expect a battle style of response – they’re more interested in Nicki Minaj the pop star, not Nicki Minaj the rapper.
Unless Minaj comes back with a better verse, Remy will emerge on top – however she won’t be the only winner in the situation.
This is the pinnacle of the rap industry. For the first time people get to see female hip-hop artists on a much larger scale.
The fact that this battle is being compared to past rivalries in the genre’s history between male artists like Biggie and Tupac, shows the evolution of female artists within the industry.
Female rappers are finally getting the shine that they deserve.