What Is Going On Between Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion?
Are you confused by this feud? Because, same.
Looks like “Hot Girl Summer” is no more. Rap icons Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj are at each other’s throats — in a rap battle, that is. If you’ve been on the internet over the past few days, chances are you’ve heard one of two diss tracks from the rappers.
On January 26, Meg released “Hiss” the third track off her upcoming album. It’s a certifiable banger from the H-town Hottie and while it has fans in a tizzy, Minaj apparently has other thoughts.
After the release of the song, Minaj took to social media to respond to the track, hinting at the release of a diss track of her own. And on Monday, the Minaj released a song clearly aimed at Meg. And it was personal.
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But how did this all start? And what are the two rappers even feuding about? Below, everything you need to know about the biggest feud in rap right now.
Who are Nicki Minaj and Meg Thee Stallion?
For those who may be unfamiliar with the two women at the heart of this conflict, first of all: You’re missing out. Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion are two of the biggest names in rap right now, and have been for years.
One of the first big female rappers of the current generation, Minaj first came onto the scene in the 2000s when she started working on mixtapes with rapper Lil Wayne. In 2009, she signed with Wayne’s label, Young Money Entertainment and went on to release her first album under them in 2010. Pink Friday made it to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, with hits like “Moment 4 Life” and “Roman’s Revenge.”
Minaj is probably also well known for her working and personal relationships with Canadian rapper Drake (the reigning king of “will-they-won’t-they” romance speculation) and viral songs like “Anaconda.” And Minaj has the sales to back up her resume; as the best-selling female rapper of all time, she’s also been referred to as the Queen of Rap by industry insiders as well as her fans (affectionately known as “Barbz”).
Megan Thee Stallion has similarly had a rapid rise to the top of the rap world. After coming onto the scene in 2016, the Houston rapper really took off with the release of her 2019 hit “Hot Girl Summer.” Since then, she’s gone viral on TikTok, released two albums, been featured on songs alongside other rap royalty like Cardi B and Lil Nas X, and worked with artists like Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande. In 2021, she also took home her first Grammy for Best Rap Song, for 2021’s “Savage.” So, not too shabby.
How did the Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion feud start?
Rumblings of tension between the two stars started in December of last year when Minaj released her latest album, Pink Friday 2. According to Variety, many fans though Minaj was making a veiled diss at Meg in her song “FTCU,” rapping: “Stay in your Tory Lanez, bitch, I’m not Iggy.” While it may seem random, it’s a pretty pointed lyric if you know Meg’s history with rapper Tory Lanez.
In July 2020, the former flames were in an altercation in a car that ended with Lanez shooting Meg in the foot. It was a traumatic experience for the rapper, especially given the discourse around it in the weeks and months following the incident, with many people in the rap community coming to Lanez’s defense. One of these people was Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who reportedly wrote a letter in support of Lanez during his trial. Last year, Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting.
Calling in to radio show The Breakfast Club on January 26, shortly before the release of her latest track, Meg said “Hiss” is about anyone who uses her name to get attention online. “When a snake feel like you’ve been playing and like doing a whole bunch of swaying, it’s basically telling you to back off. I hear you, I see you, get up off me now,” she said on air. “Basically, that’s what it means.”
“I’m saying, a hit dog gon’ holler. That’s it. Whoever feel it, feel it,” Meg added. Essentially: If her bars resonate with anyone, they’ll know it’s about them. *Eyes emoji*
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So, why’s everyone talking about that “Megan’s Law” line?
While Meg only outright names a few people in “Hiss” — Mariah Carey and Kris Jenner — it’s a line about someone unnamed that really has people in a state. Meg raps: “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law.”
Megan’s Law is a federal law in the United States that requires police to let communities know when someone on the sex offender registry moves into their neighbourhood. And the reference isn’t actually all that happenstance. In October 2019, the same year Minaj and Meg collabed on “Hot Girl Summer,” Minaj married her now-husband Kenny Petty. In 1995, Petty was convicted of attempted first-degree rape when both he and the victim were 16. In 2022, Petty was put on probation and fined when he failed to register as a sex offender in California.
What was that about hit dogs, again? While Minaj and her husband weren’t named, many people — including Minaj herself — have taken Meg’s lyric as a direct dig at Petty.
Wait — I thought Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion were friends?
They were; or at least they were collaborators. In 2019, Minaj was featured on Meg’s hit song “Hot Girl Summer,” which at the time was a *moment.* The song — released in August of that year— became the anthem of the year and the mantra by which everyone lived by, with fans declaring their own “Hot Girl Summers” and living their life to the fullest with their girlfriends.
It’s also become Meg’s identifier of sorts, with the rapper known as “Hot Girl Meg” and her fans known as “Hotties.”
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) January 28, 2024
How did Minaj respond to Megan’s song?
In short, she was pissed. Shortly after “Hiss” hit the airwaves, Minaj responded on social media, taking to X to share her displeasure, writing: “Megan’s law. For a free beat you could hit #MeganRAW.”
Later, she announced the release of her song “Big Foot,” alongside a photo of Meg crying.
On January 29, she released the song. And Minaj had *a lot* to say. And it was far from subtle. The title alone, “Big Foot,” seems to be a reference to not only Meg’s height (she’s a statuesque 5’10”), but her assault by Lanez, both literally and figuratively. Bigfoot is an urban legend and Minaj hammers home the implication that Meg is lying about what went down with Lanez in her lyrics, rapping: “Big foot, but you still a small fry / Swearin’ on your dead mother when you lie,” a reference to Meg’s deceased mother.
Later in the song, she also says Meg lied about cheating allegations against ex boyfriend Pardison Fontaine and criticizes the Houston Hottie’s rap skills. Minaj ends the song with a warning, telling Meg — and listeners — “I don’t think you want the next installment of this song.”
What has happened since?
Since Minaj released her track there’s been no direct response from Meg, but on Friday Meg shared a photo of herself laughing on Instagram Stories. This came shortly after Minaj shared a snippet of “Big Foot” on social media.
For her part, Minaj shared on X that she has five songs (yes, five!) lined up for Megan Thee Stallion, to be released if she “[breathes] wrong.” So it looks like things could probably get a lot messier in the days to come.
So, what is this Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion feud really all about?
At the end of the day, feuds are part of the culture when it comes to rap music. They’re a way for artists to not only practice their craft, but also garner visibility and sales — which is exactly what this feud is doing. Within its first 24 hours, “Big Foot” (Audio) received over 2.45 million views on YouTube, making it the biggest opening day debut for a solo female rap song this year (mind you, we are only a month into 2024). And on Tuesday morning, Meg announced her 2024 Hot Girl Summer Tour, coming this summer.
So the Stallion is doing just fine. Whether or not someone comes out on top or “loses” their feud, chances are people will be talking about them — and really, that’s all anyone can ask for.