Like other genres of music, hip-hop is a form of self-expression and art that has bound generations. A major way that rappers have expressed themselves has been through the art of battle rap. The friendly competition of rap battles has unfortunately escalated to deadly feuds and beefs that have ended careers.
While many rappers have managed to tolerate each other to create dope music for the fans, our ladies of rap have somehow missed the alliance. Women in hip hop have seemed to always have a problem with each other. This could stem from there not being a strong movement of women rappers since the 1990s. There also seems to be a notion now that there can only be one female rapper at the top at one time. Trying to be the HBIC doesn’t make it appealing for other rappers to want to link up.
Going back as far as the 1980s, rappers like Roxanne Shanté challenged the notion of battle rap and created a noise that directly targeted other women in the game. She came everyone hot at the time from MC Lyte, Queen Latifah to Salt-N-Pepa. Beef between women rappers, however, has escalated from a lone assassin like Shanté attacking to the ladies teaming up to send a message to their enemy.
Despite rappers like Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, Da Brat and Left Eye coming together to collaborate on the 1996 hit “Ladies Night,” feuds still ensued throughout the 90s and 2000s. Foxy Brown and Lil Kim had their issues that defined the 90s and in the early 2000s rapper Khia had problems with Trina and Crime Mob member Diamond. During this time, we also saw Foxy go against Eve, Jacki-O and Remy Ma. All of this, plus issues between their male counterparts, the 90s and 2000s were the prime eras for beef in hip-hop.
Later in the 2000s, we saw an emergence of new school rappers such as Azealia Banks, who had taken notes from the schools of Shanté and 50 Cent, where she was ready and willing to beef with any and everyone listening, including rappers Angel Haze and Iggy Azalea. Moreover, during this time the popularity of Nicki Minaj increased and rumors began to surface that her and Lil Kim were at odds spanning into a feud that is still boiling today. Nicki has also been at odds with Remy Ma in a beef that is one for the history books. Hopefully we don’t see rising stars like Kamaiyah, Noname, or Rapsody go against each other.
We have recently seen some ladies of hip-hop come together, but the motive is sketchy. Lil Kim and Remy Ma have joined forces, but it seems to be for the downfall of Nicki Minaj. Many speculate that the duo was throwing subliminal shots at Nicki throughout the song, but especially in lines like “You fake a** b****, you owe homage, pay that s***.” Fans still think Remy isn’t over the beef and the diss records they traded back-and-forth in the months prior.
However, the same can be said of Nicki who teamed up with Migos and Cardi B on the single “MotorSport,” where she declares “my crown won’t fit on your bum-a** lace fronts”. Remy fans saw this as a direct shot at Remy where Nicki could be referring to herself as the only queen of rap or even more likely, her referencing Remy Ma’s promo for the show Love & Hip Hop where she is seen wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Both might be a reach, but the beef between the ladies will have people speculating about their lyrics for years to come.
So how can our favorite female rappers get past the pettiness and drama to create awesome stuff together? The simple solution? Pay homage. Give due respect to those who came before you, help who you can, while you can and miss the fans with the unnecessary drama. There is more than enough space for more than one female rapper to be hot at one time. Also word of advice…if you are going to start a beef with someone for whatever reason, make sure you come with the bars. Don’t embarrass yourself.