If you haven’t been awake for the last 72 hours, then you may have missed the Great Lil' Kim Uprising.
After much sniping back and forth between Queen Bee and Nicki Minaj for the last nine months, Kim has dropped a mixtape, a diss track proper and a video for said song, “Black Friday.”
Today, the clip went up: featured are shots of a yellow Lamborghini and lo-fi line-for-lines on Kim and her crew, all to the clip of Pharaoh Monch’s “Simon Says” and a little Jay-Z nod (P.S., where is Foxy?). It may not surprise you, too, that she invokes the names samples the voices of Biggie and Puff Daddy past.
She takes shots at the wigs, the copy-catting of cover art, her own “bad bitch” devices against Minaj’s. She tears at Drake and Lil Wayne and all the “Young Money bastards: “F*ck your whole team, all I see are a bunch of weirdos / You think you’re head bitch / Scarecrow.” She throws in a few other “hashtag” raps – at which Minaj excels; generally, it’s a battle track, a veritable babbling brook of sh*t-talk that would make a Barbie doll blush.
[More talk, and the video, after the jump...]
One strategy of attack in the clip, for instance, utilizes a little girl’s playroom and a few accessories which one could barely call clothes. In that, Kim attacks Minaj’s way of dress, a firm handshake between Pot and Kettle (which itself is a mirror on female stars' fame today).
And there’s the ultimate and hilarious toss-off: “I should claim you on my income taxes.” I’m gonna keep that one, actually.
This, during a week in which Kim put her “Black Friday” mixtape (the cover of which features the decapitated head of Nicki Minaj) up for sale on PayPal. Then, 36 hours later, Kim Tweeted that she sold 113,000 of them.
After that figure hit the ‘Net, Minaj crafted a well-reasoned and articulate response (via Twitter, natch): “Bwaahhhhahhahahahahahahahahhahahhhaaahhhhhaaahahahahahahahhhaha!!!!!!!!!! *lifeless* *leaves on stretcher* *cant go on*.” And then she called Kim a liar.
Here’s the truth:
It’s been a few low-profile years for Lil Kim. Her last radio hit was in 2005, her “Countdown to Lockdown” helped send her off to the slammer, she spent a year in prison and has taken a couple to put something more than remixes and one mixtape out into the world. Oh, and “Dancing with the Stars.”
But she’s an original and a f*cking fighter and she's fighting for what she sees as hers.
Nicki Minaj is the first woman MC to top the Billboard 200 album chart (as weak as sales overall are) in 12 years. It had been eight years when she took the Rap Songs tally. It wasn’t Kim, and it wasn’t Kim who put her there, but it was with the trailblazing that Kim ignited so entertainers like Minaj could find their way.
The non-issue is that Lil Kim’s bounce-back, currently, is a public beef and a frustrating handful of rehashes, some less sturdy than others.
Minaj adds fuel to fire because she’s no underdog, not anymore.
Good, great. If there’s any truth to selling 113,000 on PayPal for $10 a pop – even if it wasn’t in 36 hours or whatever – then that’s $1 million that Kim didn’t have in her pocket before.
But let’s get onto a Lil’ Kim 2011 studio set. Kim doesn’t want an apology or admission from Minaj – who the hell wants that? -- she wants and needs a hit. She's stepping on other names, but she needs to get to making some of her own new coattails for someone else to ride on. Take some swipes then get to work, before those laurels have totally withered.
Furthermore, I like that this debacle is getting people talking about feminism in hip-hop, particularly since the call-and-response has gotten increasingly violent.
And I like that pop and pop culture’s confluence on rap is becoming a real issue for veteran acts – like I said in my review of Minaj’s “Pink Friday,” Minaj may be an entertainer, but more impressively, she’s an MC: Let the rapper rap, for God's sake. While Kim has had her share of pop hits past (mmmmmarmalade), I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more guff comin’ at Nicki in this regard.
And I’m of two minds of how serious this all can be: if you’d asked Minaj about Lil Kim a year ago, she’d wish all the success to the 35-year-old rapper. Now, forget kittens: these lions got claws. You’re both motherf*****g monsters, alright?
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