The Rap Girls Are Fighting (Again) — But Is There Such A Thing As “Too Far” In A Rap Feud?

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images/MTV.
Another day, another rap beef that has the internet divided. And this time, it’s a battle of the heavyweights in a match-up that’s only beginning: the Harajuku Barbie, Nicki Minaj, versus the Hot Girl Coach, Megan thee Stallion.
In November, Megan thee Stallion announced her official return to the music scene after a brief (but necessary) hiatus with “Cobra.” The powerful single was unexpectedly candid, revealing Megan’s personal struggle with her mental health in the aftermath of being shot by Tory Lanez, the disintegration of her romantic relationship with Pardison Fontaine, and the loss of several of her closest family members — all while being a public figure who is constantly being criticised. Even amidst her discussion of her personal issues, Megan warned that life’s many setbacks couldn’t stop her comeback, no matter how hard they hit her. Just like the king cobra, she promised that fans could expect to see her being as strong (and as deadly) as an apex predator in her new musical era. 
She made good on that promise with “Hiss” her second solo release as an independent artist that dropped early Friday morning. On the track, Megan continued in the way of the king cobra by striking at naysayers and haters alike in the opening bars: “I just wanna kick this shit off by sayin' fuck y'all,” she declares in the outro. “I ain't gotta clear my name on a motherfuckin' thing.” The rest of the song sees Megan firing off very specific, but also obscure shots —  including a jab at an ex who can’t move on, at someone who hates BBLs but allegedly has one of their own (sheesh), and, most notably, at another person who should be worried less about Megan and more about Megan’s Law (a US federal law that requires the authorities to make information about registered sex offenders available to the public).
Though no names were actually mentioned on the song, it still rubbed Nicki Minaj the wrong way, almost immediately launching yet another chapter of the rap feud between the hip hop phenoms. Minaj made a point of addressing Megan on both X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram live for the next 72 hours, teasing her own new song to speak further on the issue. And when ”Big Foot” dropped Sunday afternoon, it featured some of the viral bars that Minaj had previously shared on her X feed — to mixed reviews.
“Your flow is such a bore,” Minaj saucily kicked off the song, going on to allude to Megan’s previous struggles with 1501 label head Carl Crawford. “Bitch, you better stop that dialogue, 'fore I hit Carl and buy your catalog.” She went on to make more allegations about Megan, claiming that the Houston rapper lied about how she achieved her fit physique, questioned the validity of Megan getting shot in the foot (which was proven in a court of law), and said that she faked her emotional response to the incident in her 2022 sitdown with Gayle King (among other much darker things).
In the days since the songs dropped, their respective streams have broken records for the musicians, further cementing the indisputable fact that they are leaders in the rap game. The latest instalment of their feud, which seemingly erupted on Beyoncé’s internet out of nowhere — we were all just minding our business, and then bam, beef! — has very expectedly sent fans on both sides into a tizzy. 
Just one month into the new year, the rap girls are fighting (again), and people aren’t sure what to make of it all. On one end of the discourse, hip hop heads have expressed excitement in seeing rappers going head to head again. From Megan dialing into popular radio show The Breakfast Club to speak on the inspiration behind the single to Minaj calling her previous collaborator and former-mentee out by name in her many responses to the track, there are some music enthusiasts who feel that, finally, real rap (and real rap beef) is back. But on the other side of the viral music moment, many are deeply unsettled by the shots being taken. Some argue that there’s no limit to how low rap beef can go (Jay-Z and Nas’ beef saw them doing the opposite of what former FLOTUS Michelle Obama said and taking things to hell) while others feel like there are just some things that should be off limits (even Jay-Z later admitted that he’d taken things too far at some point). And we all know how Biggie and Tupac’s feud ended. Rap protocol isn’t exactly explicit about what’s off the table between two people who can’t stand each other. From Biggie and Tupac, to Drake and Pusha T, to Kanye and, well…everybody, history shows that for better or for worse, there’s nothing that’s barred in this kind of clash. Is it right? Maybe not. Is it rap? Yup. 
This doesn’t look to be the end of this battle, either. We’re only in the second round. Hotties have cleverly pointed out that snakes typically hiss as a warning before they actually strike their prey, foreshadowing that there could be even more to come from Megan. And across the aisle, Minaj has teased that “Big Foot” is just one of the many unreleased songs she has in the vault. More bars will likely be exchanged, whether on social media or in the studio, so fans better strap in. It’s going to be a long ride. 
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