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Rap hasn't seen a great battle in god knows how long. Has it really been over 15 years since Nas unleashed "Ether" on an unsuspecting Jay-Z? Sure, Meek Mill tried it with Drake, but he was immediately DOA'd when "Back to Back" hit--so much so that it took him what felt like months to issue a response track for a beef he started. Bad business. So when Remy Ma dropped the Nas-inspired "shETHER"--a searing 7-minute diss track all but snatching the crown from noted Queen of Rap Nicki Minaj, the streets took notice. And the internet.
Remy's diss was in response to a few verses on Gucci Mane's "Make Love" and Jason Derulo's "Swalla" both featuring Nicki Lewinksy in fine shade-throwing form. Though Nicki's verses only hinted at Remy, Ma took them as the opening salvo she needed to pull a lyrical drive-by on good old Buns Minaj. On "shETHER" Remy goes IN--referencing Nicki's alleged botched butt job, her promiscuity in the record industry, her drug use...I mean, she takes seven minutes to air out a lifetime of grievances. So you know Lil Kim had to step in.
Kim and Nicki have been beefing from the moment Nicki came on the scene, appropriating much of what made Kim the Queen of Rap in the late-90s, early-00s. Sure, it's been a mostly one-sided beef because Kim hasn't had a record to promote in easily a decade, but the OG Queen Bee--apparently painted into a Moschino catsuit by whatever gays are leading her astray these days-- threw in her unwarranted two cents, claiming she wants to work with Remy on a new version of "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)."
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Needless to say, the "Not Tonight" remix is the greatest female MC posse track of all time, featuring Kim, New York DJ Angie Martinez, Left Eye (may she rest), Da Brat (may her career rest), and Missy Elliott swaggering all over Kool and the Gang and Sister Sledge samples. It was 1997 and rap was lousy with female MCs: Foxy Brown, Charli Baltimore, Queen Pen, and not to mention Queen Latifah, who makes a cameo in the classic video alongside a fresh-out-of-fucks Mary J. Blige.
20 years and a dearth of lady lyricists later and female rappers are only just now beginning to reemerge, with Young M.A, Kamaiyah, Teyana Taylor, and others staking out their own claims in the game.
But what would a "Ladies Night" be without Nicki the Harajuku Barbie? Yes, Remy is killing it right now, but a few scorching bars does not the Queen of Rap make. Well, whatever happens, let's just hope Nicki and Remy's beef ends more like Jay and Nas, wherein they both pushed each other to new heights, and not like Kim and Fox, wherein they pushed each other out of the spotlight--and into jail.
For now, as we wait for Nicki's clapback (let's also hope she's learned a thing or two from ex Meek Mill and gets one out soon), we'll relive the zenith of female rapsmanship: