|photo by Ian Witlen|
|Nicki Minaj onstage at the Best of the Best concert in Miami this past May.|
In the Nicki Minaj vs. Lil Kim war, the Queen Bee hasn't exactly been acting regal. As the younger femcee's star has risen, Kim seems to be taking more and more potshots at Nicki.
First, there was that incident in early June
where she appeared onstage with a Nicki-style candy-colored wig, rapping a few lines in a sarcastic tone before ripping it off. "I'm going to another level," she said. "I love the wigs and everything but, I'm so above this!"
As the weeks have gone by, she's gotten more specific with her claims. In mid-June, she told Thisis50.com
, "My problem [with Nicki Minaj] is this, you're stealing my shit, you wanna be like me but you're acting like you created this lane ... it ain't new, mama. The shit with the wigs and the creating a character...."
Even Miami girl Trina weighed in recently. (It's a sign the female rapper pool is so small that she was asked to comment at all). "I just think that it is a miscommunication," she said in a recent video interview with RollingOut.com
. "I know Kim and she is a sweet person and I know Nicki too and she is also a good person. I just think that everything has been blown out of proportion and the two of them need to kiss and make up."
The point is, there aren't enough mainstream female rappers in the game to begin with ... and the industry at large basically pushes them all, if they're cute enough, into a sex-kitten, poppy mold. So, yes, Kim helped pave the way for a new, sexy-but-fierce style, from which Nicki Minaj surely has drawn influence. (How could she not? Kim was at the top of her game when Nicki was a teenager.)
But Nicki has acknowledged this, in interviews continually thanking the female rappers who came before her -- all of them. Wisely, she just hasn't addressed the specific beef with Lil Kim ... which continues to fuel Kim, it seems.
So it had to sting when, last night at the BET Awards, Nicki beat out both Lil Kim (and Trina) for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. She accepted her award with grace, though, first thanking Young Money mentor Lil Wayne. Then, however, she subtly addressed the elephant in the room.
"I think it's so important right now for positive energy among women," she said, eventually adding, "Thank you to all the female rappers that paved the way for me."
So will that be enough homage for Lil Kim? Was it meant as a blanket thank-you to her predecessors, or a subtle Kim snub since it didn't mention anyone specifically? Kim has yet to respond publicly to her awards loss, or to Nicki's acceptance speech.