Let Us Enjoy This Beef In Peace: Remy Ma Vs. Nicki Minaj

February 27, 2017  |  

shetherI did not expect for the Internets to bring me such delight this past weekend. Usually, I wake up early to clean my house, do family stuff, and maybe a little social media browsing and share whatever I find interesting on Facebook. When I tell you my timeline was lit with news about Remy Ma dropping an atomic diss bomb on Nicki Minaj. I immediately clicked a link to hear what “shETHER” was about and I must say that Remy violated her parole with this one,  snatching up some edges–natural hair and pink lacefronts included!

I listened to the song five times in a row and went back to Facebook to critique people’s comments to see if they know what real rap is, or if they judge diss track champions according to who sells more records (like some misguided hip-hop listeners did when Nas devoured Jay-Z on “Ether” in late 2001). Sadly, there are still people who think the richest person wins.

But what I really didn’t like about the comments were all the high and mighty people urging Black folks to stay unified because movies like “Hidden Figures” and “Get Out” are waking us up. Some were also shooting off claims of hypocrisy toward women who supported the Women’s March in January and delighted in this rap feud in February. Then came the petty entrepreneurs telling rap fans to focus on their own money because Remy and Nicki are already rich… Child please! Can we enjoy this beef in peace?

Disclaimer: I do not take delight in women of color fussing and fighting with each other; however, this is the sport of hip-hop! As long as this beef doesn’t escalate into Remy and Nicki physically harming each other, I’m here for it. It’s been a long time coming for the ladies of hip-hop as a whole. Once upon a time, we saw multiple women doing well on the charts simultaneously. They collaborated on songs and made cameo appearances in each other’s videos. They sold out world tours. Magazines viewed them as gargantuan money-makers and gave them front-page exposure–remember the immortal VIBE cover with Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, and Missy Elliot? If I’m not mistaken, that cover happened my Freshman year of high school. What year is this again? I’d say this beef got served at the perfect time because we are starving for the return of female rappers. One woman at the forefront will not suffice.

This battle between the New Yorkers could spawn a lot of good things for hip-hop culture. For one, today’s kids just got a hip-hop history lesson on the original diss track, “Ether.” I’m in my early 30s; I can’t do another rain drop, flip flop jingle. Hopefully, this diss track Shether will urge more metaphors and better storytelling. Second, this is a reminder to all the record labels and radio stations that women can still spit–give the ladies their time to shine like they do men. Moreover, other female artists should be inspired to get back in the studio and deliver good music. We don’t care if it’s through a label or independently; just deliver. Trolls can argue over who has the most coins or try to downplay the feud as a distraction and a publicity stunt all they want. The bigger picture is what this can spark. I can’t wait to see how this plays out for the queens of New York, the future of female artists, and hip-hop culture as a whole.

What did you think of this Shether?

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