Rapper Eve has shown where her loyalties lie this week when she dished out her opinion regarding the ongoing feud between Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj. The ‘Blow Ya Mind’ rapper told BET that she feels Minaj should show respect to Lil Kim for paving the way for her own success. “It’s not about publicity. It’s about wanting that respect,” she says. “I think maybe that’s where Kim is coming from, like, you’re doing your thing right now and no-one can take that away from you, Nicki – we all see it – but at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for Kim, she wouldn’t be here and that shit is real.”
The feud between Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj escalated in 2010 when the two began sniping at each other through their records. In February 2011 Lil Kim released the mixtape Black Friday which was a response to Minaj’s song Roman’s Revenge. The title was a play on Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday and the artwork on the mixtape shows the MC veteran holding a samurai sword, covered in blood with what looks like Minaj’s trademark pink wig at her feet. With lyrics such as ‘You lames tryna clone my style and run wit it/You’s a Lil Kim wannabe, you just hate to admit it’ the title track was as ruthless as the artwork and together they conveyed a clear message – the Queen Bee would finish the Harajuku Barbie.
However Nicki Minaj wasn’t going to take the jibes lying down and in April 2011, snippets of her unfinished record Tragedy were leaked online. In it Minaj mocks Lil Kim for selling Black Friday via Paypal and calls her ‘a tragedy’ and ‘a parody’. She has since released other records such as Stupid Hoe which contain subliminal disses towards Lil Kim and other female haters.
Despite these more recent musical exchanges, critics and fans could argue that the rivalry between the two rappers has been brewing from as early as 2007. Some of Minaj’s early promo photos bear a striking resemblance to the photography used on Lil Kim’s 1996 album Hard Core, which fuelled Lil Kim’s accusations that Minaj was trying to emulate her style. The two accounts of the pair’s first meeting also differ with Minaj claiming their first exchange at a Lil Wayne concert in 2009 was much more civil than Lil Kim suggested.
However it wasn’t until 2010 that the public slating really began. At a club gig at Blondie’s in Detroit, Lil Kim addressed the ‘beef’ that was occurring by speaking to the crowd about someone ‘biting her style’. Although she didn’t mention Nicki’s name directly, it was clear who she was talking about. When both artists took part in interviews on radio station Hot-97 FM it became clear that neither of them were concerned with keeping their feelings quiet any longer. Taking on Angie Martinez’s leather sectional sofa, Minaj openly branded Lil Kim a ‘sore loser’ and suggested that she is only back in the spotlight due to her feud with the more contemporary rap star. Similarly, when Lil Kim appeared on the same radio show, she made sarcastic comments about making a record with Minaj and informed fans that the feud was far from over by saying ‘I’m not taking my foot off her neck’.
The ongoing feud has left fans questioning whether all of the animosity is really necessary. Surely two powerful women in the world of hip hop should be supporting each other and collaborating instead of dissing each other on songs. Some fans argue that Minaj has always shown respect to Lil Kim by recognising her as one of her major influences in early interviews. Others agree with Eve’s stance that Minaj should be more respectful of the fact that artists such as Lil Kim paved the way for her own success. But with clear similarities between the two artists, fans of The Notorious K.I.M will no doubt support the rap veteran’s claims that Minaj has tried to copy her style and agree that she is right to pull the younger star up on this. Either way it seems a shame that the two rappers can’t work out their differences and record a track together – judging by their lyrical wit and feisty attitudes it would no doubt be a chart topping success.