Remy Ma’s shETHER was released almost two weeks ago, on the last Saturday in February. Five days after that, she came out with a follow-up and then went on Wendy Williams dressed for a funeral. At the time, I posted that even though Nicki was at Paris Fashion Week, fronting like Remy was beneath her, if she wanted to preserve her place and defend her reputation, she had to follow the code of hip-hop and have an answer…even though most people, with the exception of Nicki’s most hardcore stans, had already determined that Remy’s cuts were so deep and so thorough, it would be impossible for Nicki to land any blows.
Still. She had to show up. In this game, you have to at least show up.
So, basically, she moves on Queen Time. On Her Majesty’s time. And that’s the only time that matters. OK. I may have been onside with that. If that was just the prelude. The problem? The problem is that the words in her Insta post are better than the bars in the song.
The song is called No Frauds, one of three tracks Nicki put out last night. No Frauds is ostensibly the direct response to Remy while Regret In Your Tears is a jam about Meek Mill and the end of their relationship and Changed It is less of a diss track and more of reclamation of her supremacy – dubious, considering that No Fraud just didn’t meet the standard.
For starters, she only has one verse on it. Drake and Lil Wayne come in on the other two so already you could say she needed backup. That wouldn’t matter if Nicki’s lyrics were tight though. Unfortunately for her, the lyrics are not tight, especially not in comparison with the level of toxicity that Remy brought in shETHER. And besides, in shETHER, Remy had already, in advance, done Nicki’s work for her by pointing out all the targets that Nicki might aim for. It’s right there at the end of the song in the line “You just got bodied by a Love & Hip-Hop bitch”.
So… again… there was no way Nicki was going to artistically even this up. All she could do was honour the hip-hop feud playbook and, instead of matching Remy on precision, she went with volume. Three new songs designed not necessarily to counter Remy but to deflect. That’s her power as the more well-known and the bigger name – to redirect the conversation using their fame imbalance and turn it into a headline about how she’s reunited with her Young Money family and the promise of new material.
And that’s fine. It’s fine for now. It’s fine because while her adversary this time out-skilled her creatively, she couldn’t out-fame her celebrity. What happens next time though? Will she have to rely on her profile and her famous friends every time she’s challenged?