Updated at 11pm: "ARE YOU DUMB?!" Remy Ma repeated those infamous words from "ShEther" when she accepted her award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist. She also thanked her family and team before shouting out all of her fellow nominees, except one. I'll let you figure out which one.
The BET Awards is like a Black family reunion. The family comes together from all over to laugh, catch up, and even crack jokes on one another. Just like any other family, it’s inevitable that rivalry and competition cause rifts among its members. For example, the lawyer cousin is always used as leverage to make the struggling artist feel bad. For tonight’s BET Awards, the source of that tension is in the nominee pool for Best Female Hip Hop Artist.
If I had to compare this year’s nominees to typical family tropes it would go something like this. Nicki Minaj is the stuck up Ivy league grad. We’re proud of her accomplishments, but she’s so self-absorbed that she decided not to come. Remy Ma is her sister and arch nemesis. She scared the family by dropping out of high school and dabbling in drugs but got it together later in life and helps out whenever she can. Missy Elliott is the fabulous auntie that has a bomb career and is always out of town. Young M.A. made Thanksgiving really awkward with her outburst about homophobia within the family, but it was so necessary and she’s been getting supportive texts ever since. And Cardi B. is the young high school grad that got a full ride scholarship after her filmed admission essay went viral and it’s all anyone can talk about.
You can already imagine how these dynamics might get a little messy, especially when there’s a title like Best Female Hip Hop Artist on the line. The real life politics are even more complicated. Obviously, Remy and Nicki have been locked in a fierce battle ever since the former dropped “ShEther” in March. None of Nicki’s responses, subliminal nor direct, have been strong enough to declare her the winner of their feud. But claiming this award for the seventh time in a row would be all the ammunition in the world to consider the scales tipped in her favor.
Meanwhile, Cardi B. has proven herself for all of the naysayers who thought she would never be more than a loud-mouthed stripper, an Instagram personality, or a reality television burnout. So many of us are rooting for her and if she wins it will be well deserved. But she knows she’s not the only one. In an Instagram live video following the nomination, she said that if she doesn’t win, she wants Remy to take the crown.
If I was a betting woman, I’d put my money on Remy, too. May the best femcee win.