Pink wigs, thick hips, and a mix tape later, Nicki Minaj is riding the Hip Hop airwaves as the newly coronated Queen of Hip Hop. Not so fast says Lil Kim who fired shots on November 26th, when she spit out a diss record to remind the world that she is still wearing the crown. Blasting Nicki over Pharoahe Monch’s ‘Simon Says’ Kim calls Nicki ‘a lil kim clone clown’ and lays the ammunition for an all out war.
To understand the genesis of this Hip Hop beef, you should know that Lil Kim came on the rap scene in 1996 representing Brooklyn with hardcore lyrics and an overt sexual image to match. Even though there had been female rappers before her, she was probably the first to conquer people’s attention with the sort of high level aggressive verses that flowed so well it made some wonder if her famed boyfriend Biggie Smalls was not writing for her. Her main competition at that time was Foxy Brown and Eve… until 2010 when a Trinidadian born Nicki Minaj who had been grinding the underground rap world, broke through the mainstream rap world with sex appeal and alter egos in tow. With blazing singles and ‘Young money’ swagger behind her, she started making the media rounds and expounded homage to lil Kim. However, in an industry where egos are fed and bruised constantly, Lil Kim felt disrespected by the less than effusive homage. Nicki Minaj responded in ‘Roman’s Revenge’ where she boldly stated that if Biggie was alive he would have signed her. This is what must have inspired Lil Kim’s ire in the subsequent diss record ‘Black Friday’.
Admittedly this is a sick discourse which has no relevance in the significance of global issues. But, I confess that as lover of Hip Hop, I love this lyrical feud. I love both Kim and Nicki – they have more in common than they would ever admit, but, they are at each other’s throats because if fame in Hollywood lasts for 15 minutes, then Hip Hop runs on 2 minutes. In order not to fall through the cracks of the 120 second cutoff line, you have to come hard with a scandal, jail time, or a Hit, and the latter is harder to achieve. This explains why Kim felt the need to jump into a fight she had not been called into, and deliver a rhythmic jab buzzing the return of the Queen Bee. Do I smell a Collabo?