The genre of hip hop is a competitive sport, and rappers, whether they are or not, want to be the best and, if not the best, then associated with the best in some way. Nicki Minaj is, arguably, the best female rapper of all time, and as such, she has made a lot of enemies. This is simply because in hip hop, being the best comes with a cost because everyone wants to be the best, and therefore people want to effectively replace you.
The beef between Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim is Minaj’s oldest one, and it began shortly after she gained commercial success. To begin with, it was mainly to do with Minaj’s aesthetic and lack of respect towards Kim. When she first entered the mainstream, Minaj (real name Onika Maraj) was known primarily for her eccentric style and brightly coloured wigs. With Lil’ Kim wearing similar hair in the 1990s, many accused Minaj of stealing and ripping off Lil Kim’s style, which angered many hip hop heads. With Lil’ Kim being a legend in hip hop, many saw it as unfair that Minaj was prospering off Lil Kim’s style while Lil Kim remained unseen and unheard.
However, Lil’ Kim, in an interview with ‘The Breakfast Club’, detailed that the beef actually started when she began working with Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams of Cash Money Records. Cash Money is the parent label of Young Money, which Minaj, to this day, is signed to. Lil’ Kim detailed that she was working with Slim and knew Nicki Minaj was going to be Cash Money’s next prodigy, but she was going to be signed to Cash Money to ghostwrite and market Nicki Minaj. Kim detailed how she was sending Slim demos for over a year and revealed they were even in the studio together in Miami, but after about a year and a half, Slim stopped liaising with her.
However, the next thing Kim knew, Nicki Minaj was using her flows, song concepts and lyrics on her mixtapes. Effectively, Kim is saying that the majority of Nicki’s early mixtape material was her intellectual property and that she was led on by Slim under the premise that she was getting signed to Cash Money.
Lil Kim’ also impersonated Minaj on ‘The Angie Martinez Show’ in 2010 and, in 2011, released her Black Friday EP, a play on Nicki Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday, with Lil Kim’s song ‘Pissin On Em’ being a response to Nicki Minaj’s album track ‘Did It On Em’ the chorus of which contains the lyrics “Sh*tted On Em”. However, after two years of not speaking on the issue, in 2012, Minaj sent a direct shot at Kim with her song ‘Stupid H*e’, which amidst a lot of profanity aimed at Kim about her looks, contains the lyric “I piss on b*tches” referencing the track from Black Friday. Minaj then goes on to say, “Ayo baby bop f*ck you and ur EP who’s gassing this h*e BP?” again referring to Black Friday.
However, in a simple yet impactful interview on ‘Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen’, a popular primetime US talk show, when asked about it, Kim said: “If you have to make a song called stupid h*e, you have to be a stupid h*e”. However, that is where the beef ended as Nicki never responded again…that is until Lil’ Kim featured on a Remy Ma song only months after Remy Ma released her ‘Shether’ diss track towards Nicki Minaj. People saw this collaboration as extremely shady, with Kim potentially stoking the flames of what was a slowly extinguishing beef.
Similar to the 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather beef, it looks as if the origin of the issue began with a third party. Ronald Williams doing shady business and, in the process, causing friction. You can listen to Nicki Minaj’s diss track to Lil’ Kim in the video below.