Well, it took almost two weeks, but Nicki Minaj finally dropped a response to Remy Ma’s shots in “shETHER” and its somewhat lackluster follow-up “Another One.” And, as expected, Nicki’s new track “No Frauds” is nothing short of phenomenal.
To make sure we’re all on the same page: Nicki and Remy have had on-and-off beef for the last several years which recently flared up again after Nicki’s fiery verses on Gucci Mane’s “Make Love” and Jason Derulo’s “Swalla,” both released at the end of February.
Remy responded with an absolutely stellar seven-minute diss on “shETHER,” in which she addressed everything from rumors about Nicki’s implants to supporting her brother, who was charged with felony rape in 2015. Remy’s track caused quite a stir on its release, with many claiming that it had ended Nicki’s career.
When Nicki failed to provide a timely response, Remy dropped “Another One,” referring to DJ Khaled’s iconic phrase. But “shETHER” proved impossible to follow, and “Another One” didn’t deliver nearly the same damage.
And still, there was nothing from Nicki besides a few indirect acknowledgements of the beef on Instagram and Twitter and bragging about the success of “Make Love.”
Admittedly, “Make Love” will be remembered alongside Kanye West’s “Monster” and Yo Gotti’s “5 Star Remix” (also with Gucci Mane) as one of her best features ever. Still, her fans clamored for a direct response to Remy’s attacks.
For two weeks, we were left with near-silence from Nicki. And did her career die? Far from it. In fact, “shETHER” proved not to have the long-lasting influence that was initially predicted, in part due to its lack of replay value as an actual song.
Just when it seemed like things had settled and Nicki was going to ignore Remy entirely, she dropped three new singles, one of which is “No Frauds,” featuring Drake and Lil Wayne.
“No Frauds” is a fiery diss back at Remy, returning jabs about plastic surgery and employing ghostwriters as well as questioning Remy’s competency as a mother after leaving her son for six years while she was in prison from 2008 to 2014.
Some wanted to see more from Nicki after “shETHER” and were disappointed by the brevity and relative indirectness of “No Frauds.” Nicki knows what she’s doing, though. She knows that diss tracks don’t usually make hit songs, but “No Frauds” can comfortably be listened to on repeat for several days (trust me, I should know).
At this point, Nicki’s really just using the beef to promote her upcoming album. Alongside “No Frauds” she dropped two other singles, “Changed It,” a weighty, brooding track with Lil Wayne and “Regret In Your Tears,” another heavy ballad that feels like a more mature follow-up to some of her emotionally-loaded tracks on The Pinkprint in 2014.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the idea that there can only be one “queen of rap” is the creation of a sexist, male-dominated industry. Why is it that Meek Mill can come back from a diss like “Back To Back,” but “shETHER” was supposed to have ended Nicki’s career?
I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I took Nicki’s side through all this beef, but the question has to be asked: Why not both? Why do we have to choose?
I’m only on Nicki’s side because I’ve been listening to her music for years, but by the time I started paying attention to music, Remy had already all but disappeared from the industry. I don’t listen to Remy much, but I have respect for her after a track like “shETHER.”
And it’s easy to blame them, to say that the beef started because Nicki was making a claim for herself as the new queen of rap while Remy still dominated the industry, but rap has always been a male genre. It’s not fair to blame these women, who are both excellent rappers, for feeling as though they are in competition, because they have been forced into competition by the industry.