“Tragedy”: Nicki Minaj/Lil Kim Beef Escalates … But Why?

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Kim vs. Nicki

This weekend Nicki Minaj released her verses from “Tragedy,” a track allegedly from Lil Wayne‘s upcoming Tha Carter IV, to New York’s Hot 97. Taken alone, her bars are a brutal Lil Kim dis track.

Why such vitriol? In short, she’s responding to Lil Kim’s retail mixtape Black Friday, itself heavily laden with digs at Ms. Young Money. The title track, which Kim leaked in November, called her a “deluded Kim wannabe,” among many other things.

This beef has been ongoing for nearly two years. When Nicki Minaj rose to the bait of Kim’s 2010 provocations, slyly but insistently putting the older rapper in her place on “Roman’s Revenge” from the platinum-selling Pink Friday, she didn’t even name the Queen Bee, whose only chart appearances in the last seven years have been for 2005′s “Lighters Up” and her lackluster verse on Keyshia Cole’s 2007 single “Let It Go.” Which is as it tends to be in the rap game: if you don’t sell, you don’t exist. So when Kim made the unverified and probably wildly exaggerated claim that Black Friday had sold 113,000 copies in its first week, Nicki Minaj responded in the appropriate fashion:

And yet, here she is again, granting Kim legitimacy even as she tears Kim down. Why?

In part, Nicki Minaj probably once idolized Lil Kim, who was one of the more successful of the mere dozen or so female MCs who even managed to break into the new-school major-label rap game, and it’s got to hurt to hear an idol tear you down.

But really this beef is yet another example of New York rap hegemony. Nicki Minaj may be a Young Money/Cash Money artist, but she’s hardly a New Orleans native. The multitude of voices and characters she employs almost completely conceal a “self,” but make no mistake – ”she is a New York rapper. Just listen to her verse on French Montana’s “New York Minute”: she shares her memory of September 11, laments the deaths of Stack Bundles and Sean Bell, and remind listeners that she “originate[d] from the streets of Southside,” before Jadakiss goes on to favorably mention Brooklynite Lil Kim (among many others).

Lil Kim may not have had a hit in a minute, but the New York rap world’s geographical myopia (there are rappers in the South? What, you mean like Philly?) is counter-balanced by a long memory. Lil Kim still matters to Hot 97, and to Nicki Minaj, no matter how many miles away from South Jamaica, NY she may be.

If Lil Kim keeps clowning herself, this beef is going to fizzle sooner or later; she doesn’t have the Cam’ron charisma/savvy to make a much bigger player pay enough attention for long enough, and her current output is, well, dismal. But if she gets some good beats and drops the Bette Davis-in-All About Eve act, there might be room for both female MCs on the charts.

Dare to dream.

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  1. Peter White says:

    AWESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMEEE go nicki, you the best. you KILLED it.

  2. Ashlie says:

    Wat Does It Mater . ? They Shouldn’t Be Doing This Childish Bull . ! It Don’t Matter Who Topping Charts And Who Isn’t . ! {Even Though It’s Clear Who Is}{Cough Cough Nick Cough Cough} GROW Up . ! Nicki Is The Now And Future . ! Kim Is A Has~Been . ! That’s All There Is To It . !=)

  3. bREA says:

    AT the end of the day, QB is the blueprint, and EVERYTHING Nicki doing Kim has done. I’m not understanding how Nicki gets all types of passes when she be throwing shots at QB, (ya’ll can play deaf, dumb, and blind) but as soon as Kim retaliates (and clearly KILLS Nicki) ya’ll hating.

  4. kgurlballin says:

    biased articles will be biased, we just know what to expect now. hip hop isnt about who’s “topping the charts now” Honestly, how long do you think Nicki will last in this (rap) game? She’s already 28 y/o (via countless people lookups).. She can’t do what Kim has done,period.They’ll be calling her old and washed up in just 5 years.Kim has remained a topic for 15. #winning? It’s all about respect

  5. kgurlballin says:

    those who think this is Kim hating are delusional. Imagine a step daughter constantly disrespecting you. What would you do? Would you put her in her place and let her know of the respect she deserves? Or would you sit back and let her rant and rave about you?… and the beat on Tragedy was hot, but Nicki’s lyrics once again were..wack. Please listen to the lyrics, not the hot beats.

  6. fey says:

    nicki manaj is sick and needs to leave the furs and the money and go back to jaimaca. see what putting on that fur on new year’s eve did? not one hair went into your skin they all shot out and almost ended the world due to the fact you could not beat the rats your coat was made from.you were one you see? the furs all go into the skin when you get respect other people are out there with them in the skin. you are nothing face it

  7. Shirelle says:

    Who rights this $hit… Nicki is weak and wack, but I will let them tell it. The only thing the whole young money team got going for them are there beats.

  8. carani santiago says:

    Nicki Haters .. she is funnie i give her props.. :) lil kim good but nicki is better.. aye i bet all u people talkin bad bout nicki be listening to her songs back to back jamin… :) plus she’s a hit.. and i bet yall dont even listen to lil kim to be defendin her. it might be childish but its entertainment don’t act like u not entertained.. thats why u read this page… :) for The Drama … lol rather u like it or not there are always going to be drama .. Nicki is hard core… yea she rap simple she repeats but it goes hard and yall be jamin.. non stop … plus she smart teaming up with a whole bunch of artist’s… nicki is on top of her game sorry kim just cant catch up (give up kimmie u wack).

  9. Myia says:

    Nicki GOES HARD! Kim Cant Keep Up

  10. Queenbee4lyfe says:

    Nicki you weak cant wait for your 15 mins to be up because it will..It makes me laugh when she has only had one cd out and people calling her the new miss it lol when she jacked every female in the game as well as Lady GaGA…She is POP not HIP HOP To all you haters LiL Kim,Eve,Missy,Trina,Lauren Hill, all had platium selling first cds so this trick hasnt done anything new to be labled the new ms it lol Please….

  11. quanda says:

    lil kim has it going on nicki need to show a lil respect she could learn something from lil kim

  12. Isley says:

    Who’s making more money and more fame?

    Nicki, right?

    **ends beef**

  13. Andy Magazi says:

    just think of a kim minaj colab………just pure magic.
    dispite th fued and all,I say kim is the better lyricist but i would luv to c them work 2gether.
    Kim can change flows no doubt,honestly speeking nikki cant,in each and every song its the same old childish flow.nikki has a beautiful voice both 4 singin and rappin, I really would advise her to use it differently.

  14. fermin says:

    i must be joke cause u call nikkkis bars rap thats not goin hard shes wack i dont know why people think lil kim is done nikki is two years younger then kim and started the rap game with foxy brown its a shame writers have no respect for people who have been in game when rap was good learn ur facts and dont be one sided cause this pop star is popular to a young group who dont understand what good quality music sounds like