Last time I wrote about Nicki Minaj was when she was outraged about her VMA snub for Anaconda (my opinion on that still stands) and surprisingly I received a positive response from friends who are stans of the rapper herself and music bloggers alike. Before I begin, I would like to clarify that I have been a fan of Nicki Minaj for the longest – since the moment she was freestyling on the damn staircase for Fendi and shooting music videos in local music stores and open spaces to the point that I was promoting her to my ‘friends’ in secondary school as the next best female rapper and was ridiculed as she was just ‘a knockoff Lil’ Kim” – little did they know but I’m sure you get the point but this post is not coming from a biased stan perspective but observations and facts but feel free to leave your opinion in the comments if you think otherwise.
So let’s get into Miss Onika Tanya Maraj aka Nicki Minaj – It has been 10 years since she dropped her debut mixtape, Playtime is Over followed by 2008’s Sucka Free and her internet breakthrough Beam Me Up Scotty. Since 2009, Nicki Minaj has undeniably been a force to be reckoned with – the colourful wigs, quirky fashion picks, her witty punchlines, and animated persona made it hard for anybody to ignore the rise of the female rapper. In similar fashion to inspiration, Lil Kim back in her Bad Boy days, Nicki took every chance by the hand and managed to consistently steal the show on nearly every song she featured outperforming the likes of Drake, Lil Wayne, and even Jay-Z. She was breaking records and was acknowledged as the Queen of Hip-Hop before dropping her first commercial release but was it fair to hand her this title so early in her career? Under the circumstances, of Missy Elliott taking time away from the spotlight due to her illness and Trina’s career unfortunately never carrying enough leverage to receive such recognition, Nicki practically had most opportunities served on a silver platter as she had no dangerous competition in sight.
Fast forward to February 2017, fresh off of Love & Hip-Hop: New York and the release of her joint album with Fat Joe, Remy Ma shook everybody’s airwaves with a 7 minute
read diss record. Remy gave Nicki only a day to respond to no avail; she instead lowkey responded about a fortnight later with No Frauds – it gathered similar hype, the chorus is catchy in the clubs but other than that it’s nothing special but this was Nicki’s (unexpected) wake up call – she had gone nearly 10 years with no real competition now with the return of Remy, Missy Elliott is slowly oozing her way through, Cardi B and Young M.A steadily making waves on the internet it was only a matter of time before somebody threatens to overthrow the ‘queen’.
Though what did Remy Ma gain from this? A little bit of notoriety yet Minaj still remains a household name, how? well, first and foremost, Nicki Minaj doesn’t do diss tracks. She does business.
“Yo, I ain’t-a businesswoman, I’m a business, woman! And I’m known for giving bitches the business, woman!”
Will Remy Ma be the downfall of Nicki Minaj? Certainly not. Why? Well firstly because she has much more bargaining power than Remy; Whether you like her or not, Nicki is more than a female rapper. She is a brand. Her endorsements and sponsorship deals are enough to keep money flowing into her accounts and her name out there. I’m sure Nicki would’ve wanted to respond to Remy with some low blows but understands that this industry is too sensitive and with her current status she cannot afford to tarnish her clean-shaven image for a comeback rapper (no shade intended). Point two – Miss Minaj is liable to one of the most powerful fan bases in the world – The Kingdom formerly known as the Barbz who consume just about anything she throws out irrespective of the quality of the music. In addition to this, most stan bases, like Nicki’s will argue with you until the cow comes home trying to prove that success by numbers and accolades define the quality of artistry because, in all honesty, Nicki’s career numbers are pretty good – in fact the best for a female rapper ever but that doesn’t make her the best female rapper ever?
Don’t get me wrong there is no doubt that Nicki Minaj can rap for sure but let’s admit it there are better females out there who can probably out bar with ease including Remy, however, most fail to appeal to a wider audience on a mainstream level. Minaj is a marketing team dream blueprint – talented, beautiful/sex appeal, multi-faceted, all of these traits made it easy for her to transition and appeal to the young pop crowd. Very few can hold their own with hip-hop heavyweights like Rick Ross, Jigga and Kanye then sashay their way on Ellen Degeneres’ show and perform Super Bass and Starships under the same moniker. Nicki has it all. Her responding to Remy was probably more beneficial to her than Minaj herself as, for now, her sales and influence will continue to grow regardless. Nicki’s real competition would be the next female rapper who follows in her footsteps whoever that may be.
“Will Remy Ma be the downfall of Nicki Minaj? Certainly not.”
So what do we do now?
We just wait for Nicki Minaj to start dropping some new music and hopefully, Remy can find a way to not Azealia Banks her career and upcoming female rappers avoid the major label trap of trying to plot female rappers against Nicki. It’s a recipe for disaster plus I would love to see a modern-day Ladies Night with today’s female rappers, that isn’t too much to ask for?