But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
and we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors —
not for jobs or for accomplishments,
which I think can be a good thing,
but for the attention of men.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Photo via: hiphopdx.com
Rap music has long been dominated by men.
For the most part, it’s dudes who get into feuds, guys who bark each other’s names after women-hating, gay-bashing insults, and men who get the awards, record deals, and ca$$$h money. There are exceptions to this outdated rule, however. Enter: Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj.
For those of you who don’t know Remy Ma, she is one of Nicki’s predecessors. She was a chart-topping original Bronx Queen of Rap until a six-year prison stint put the mic drop on her career and gave Nicki the green light to step-up. Since then, duh, Nicki has been ev-er-y-where. Well, a couple weeks ago Remy reached out from the past and tried to pull Nicki allllll the way back down, dropping a scorching seven-minute diss track, shETHER, which came savagely for Nicki’s title. The Internet went bonkers.
This feud has been brewing since around 2007, when Nicki Minaj (rocking a truly iconic 2007 look) threw down over a mixtape: "Tell that bitch with the crown to run it like Chris Brown," and so on. Rolling Stone and Fader have comprehensive timelines if you are interested in reading up on you rap history (it’s like homework, but fun).
Nicki held off from responding for two weeks, a non-move move that led to tons of speculation in the music community. This week, she dropped three new songs, including “No Frauds”, which is her response to Remy.
Soooo, why are we talking about two women feuding? Why are we adding to the noise that two powerful women can’t help but fiercely attack one another?
Because that’s what rap is all about, it’s confrontational in its nature. Lyricists don’t shy away from one another when challenged with words. Where other women may compete based on standards of beauty or conformity, rap battles for both male and female MCs are all about who can outthink the other.
The Remy v. Nicki beef is important because it proves that two women can still snag headlines for being sharp,witty, modern-day poets.
Do we kinda sorta wish these two badasses would build each other up rather than tear each other tf down? Yeah, probably. But we do recognize that it’s a good thing women compete based on talent and bodies of work (not for men, as the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quote above hints to).
Like Remy Ma says in her diss to Nicki (among some *real* deep cuts), “And to be the Queen of Rap, you gotta actually rap.” We hope both these female MCs keep doing exactly that.