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Lil’ Kim Vs. Nicki Minaj

Is the beef between these raptresses really necessary?

“Identity Theft” is what she’s calling it.  If you haven’t heard Lil’ Kim’s latest diss track toward Nicki Minaj, the Queen Bee goes straight for the jugular calling Nicki a “bum b**ch” who jacked her “swagger”. The diss track comes complete with Lil’ Kim’s driver’s license boasting a picture of Nicki’s face.  Kim goes Hitler on the younger femcee rapping, “Since you insist on running your jibs off / After I drop these flowers for Big off / I’ma come and blow your lid off / Like Adolf / Roll up the tint, then peel off.”   Whoa… somebody’s mad.

So, what brought this beef on?  Firstly, there has been a long-standing feud between the two raptresses centering on style-jacking and crown-grabbing.  Lil’ Kim told HipHopDX in 2012 that the beef originated with a Cash Money record gone sour.  The cut was to feature both ladies, but it didn’t take off as hoped.  After that, Kim says Nicki got “catty.”

“They realized, OK, we need Kim,” she said. “OK, let’s study her swag and I think they wanted to get that record just to stamp that I was OK with what was going on,”

Flawless Remix

Hence, “Identity Theft.”  The cut dropped right after Nicki jumped on the “Flawless” remix with Queen B, in which she called herself the “Queen of Rap”–a title Lil’ Kim had long used for herself.

The Flawless Re-Remix

Gasoline. Match. Kimmy put her own mack on “Flawless” with a remix of the remix, in which she cut off Nicki Minaj’s verse off in near presidential style.

“The queen of rap, slayin’ with Queen Bey,” Nicki Minaj raps.

Cue horns.  Lil’ Kim: “Am I trippin’ or did this ho just say my name?/ Queen of rap, f**k outta here, Queen’s back, f**k outta here/ Time to get this rap b**ch up outta here.”

Obviously, Queen Bee is out for blood.  But did Nicki really steal Kim’s style?

A Closer Look

Nicki Minaj undoubtedly idolized Kim coming up, even naming her as one of her favorite rappers in a Vibe interview last year.


She has adopted some of her style (cue Nicki’s replica of Kim’s squatter pose from her 1997 album Hardcore) – but isn’t copying the highest form of flattery?  I for one think that Nicki has managed to branch out into her own zany style, despite borrowing some from the Queen Bee.  But perhaps Lil’ Kim feels Nicki has not paid her enough due respect?

nicki minaj

In a 2010 interview with MTV RapFix, Nicki called herself a “diehard” fan of Kim’s and reveals her hurt at being attacked by her idol.


“When you see Gaga, you see Madonna—but Madonna never hated on Gaga,” said Nicki. (Of course, that’s no longer the case.) “Why in the black community we gotta hate on each other instead of saying ‘Thank you for showing me love, thank you for keeping my name alive?’ The same way she opened doors for me, I’m opening doors for her. Nobody was playin’ your music and you damn sure couldn’t get an interview to save your life.”

She added that Lil’ Kim’s deep rooted insecurity and jealousy over her success is the source of the problem.  “Put your music out, and when I see your name on Billboard, that’s when I’ll respond to you. Other than that, goodbye. It’s Barbie, b**ch.”

So is Lil’ Kim simply in need of more press to get her name back on the scene?  Possibly.  But this seems to be more than a well-orchestrated PR stunt.  It’s clearly a case of the elder vs the ingénue–nothing new to show business.  But what makes the battle feel a little one-sided is that Lil’ Kim has nothing to prove.  She is a rap pioneer.  She made tracks with Biggie.  Her legend is secure as long as she doesn’t tarnish it

This type of female feud is just the old crabs-in-a-bucket mentality.  There can only be ONE female rapper at a time! Me!  While Nicki Minaj is undoubtedly the reigning raptress right now, there wouldn’t be a Nicki Minaj without a Lil’ Kim.  Maybe she needs to express that.  As for Ms. Kim, she should accept her foremother role, accept that Nicki copying may just be Nicki paying her respect, and realize that both ladies can be queens of their territories.  No identity theft needed.

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About the Author


Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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