Remy Ma’s Bid For Nicki Minaj’s Throne Began Today
Nicki can't 'I make more money than you' her way out of this one
There’s a scene in The Revenant where Leonardo DiCaprio appears to actually have a chance at subduing that big ass bear, and escaping with what’s left of his life. In a lesser film, his glimmer of hope would have somehow, very quickly, evolved into a wide-open escape opportunity, and he would have met some nice woman at the trading post he crawled to, generous enough to take him in and rehabilitate him.
That’s not how it goes though.
The bear mauls DiCaprio, making sure to relieve his body of every fucking ounce of life it possesses. Sometimes in cinema, there’s a difference in interpretation among viewers, critics and the film’s creators. In that moment in The Revenant there’s only one thought to be had: DiCaprio is so fucking dead that someone should maybe go check on the real life Leonardo DiCaprio.
Something like that happened on the internet today.
Remy Ma released “ShETHER,” a rework of Nas’ “Ether.” There was no warning, just a SoundCloud link accompanied by a simple message.
— Remy Ma (@RealRemyMa) February 25, 2017
Pick your jaw up there’s more. Actually, wait. You’re right. Hang on.
Wow. If not her sheer gall—what else would you call borrowing arguably the greatest diss track ever, which happens to be by a guy from Queens, Nicki’s hometown?—you’ve got to admire Remy’s attention to detail. “ShETHER” is a cluster bombing that’s guaranteed collateral PR damage for a wide range of industry personnel, from Hot 97’s Ebro to Gucci Mane, with whom Nicki dropped a single yesterday. It was on that song, “Make Love,” where Nicki rapped what might have been too much for Remy to no longer publicly ignore:
I’m the iPhone, you the Nokia
Everybody know you jealous, bitch it’s so clear
Tell them bum ass bitches to play their role
She see my sexy ass every time she scroll
I got it in the can, Dole
Your career gon’ be with Anna Nicole
Witcha dumbass face
She ain’t eatin’ but I swear she got some bum ass taste
Text her man like, “Dawg, how that bum ass taste?”
Pay your rent! And stay in your bum ass place
Oooohhh, oh you the qu-e-e-the queen of this here?
One platinum plaque, album flopped, bitch, where? (bitch, where?)
I took two bars off just to laugh
You see, silly rabbit, to be the queen of rap
You gotta sell records, you gotta get plaques
S, plural like the S on my chest
Now sit your dumbass down
You got an F on your test
Remy wasn’t directly mentioned, but it was clear who Nicki was training her aim on. As it happens, this wasn’t the first time. Before Remy Ma was incarcerated, Nicki’s 2007 mixtape cut, “Playtime Is Over,” was perceived to be a slight towards Remy. A year later, a Minaj freestyle that went viral, “Dirty Money,” seemed directed towards for the Bronx rapper. And since Remy’s release from prison, a public display of unity hasn’t happened. That isn’t mandatory by any stretch, but when paired with the aforementioned lyrics, it sends a message.
An overlooked aspect of this conflict is the fact that Remy tweeted out a warning last October, when she mocked Nicki’s “all these bitches is my sons” mantra with a pretty strong subliminal.
All this talk about my son & your son
I’m hot & ya whole world revolve around me
B*tch I am – The Sun
— Remy Ma (@RealRemyMa) December 15, 2016
But after Nicki’s performance on “Make Love” became a trending topic on Twitter, Remy decided that enough was enough. Her seven-minute response was swift, brutal and extremely inflammatory. That’s how rap wars are won, even the cold ones.
In this pivotal moment, Nicki Minaj has to handle her next moves with care. She had a front row seat to her ex-boyfriend Meek Mill’s lack of preparation when he ignited his Drake beef with a series of brash tweets. Drake came back hard and Mill seemed to have underestimated his target. Nicki remained quiet during that beef, but hopefully she took notes. We say hopefully, because the early returns aren’t pretty.
Okay Nicki. There are few artists that can match your business and marketing acumen, or your album sales, but in this arena, that’s irrelevant. You’re toe-to-toe with a rap veteran who notched a Top 40 hit, rapped with Jay Z, earned a Grammy nomination and starred in Love & Hip Hop in a matter of months, just three years removed from an eight-year prison bid. Remy’s no slouch. You won’t be able to “I make more money than you” your way out of this one.
This beef will be decided in the trenches. Nicki made a down payment on this on “Playtime Is Over,” but the time for mixtape sublminals is over. Nicki is one of the biggest artists in the world and “ShETHER” is the closest anyone’s gotten to challenging her spot on the throne since she’s occupied it. Responding in kind has to be a priority.
That said, it would be wise not to count Nicki out. The bear may have dominated that battle with Leo, but it didn’t prevail in the end.