Yesterday was a great day for Barbz, with two new Nicki Minaj collaborations — Gucci Mane’s “Make Love” and Jason Derulo’s “Swalla” — being released, but it was also a great day for fans who like battle rap. That’s because Nicki delivered what some are calling warning shots for Remy Ma on both of those tracks.
Starting with “Swalla,” which also features Ty Dolla $ign, the cut seems to aim at Remy, who’s been rumored to be dissing Nicki for the past few months. “I gave these bitches two years, now your time’s up,” raps Minaj. “Bless her heart, she throwin’ shots, but every line sucks.”
Not only was this seemingly a response to Remy’s alleged disses, but it also seemed to point to Remy’s release from prison in August of 2014, just two and a half years ago. Of course, it could have also been a reference to Minaj’s last album The Pinkprint, which dropped December of 2014. But some might say it’s a sly reference to both.
The alleged shots continued on Nicki’s Gucci Mane reunion banger “Make Love.” “Go against Nicki, it’s gon’ cost ya,” she rapped. “‘Cause now it’s fuck ya, intercourse ya / I rep Queens where they listen to a bunch of Nas / I’m a yes and these bitches is a bunch of nahs / Trying to win a gunfight with a bunch of knives / I win, get off the bench and give a bunch of fives / I don’t see her / Bitch, I’m ‘The Greatest’, no Kendrick, and no Sia.”
If those disses were too vague, Nicki appears to get more personal from there. “You the queen of this here?” she raps. “One platinum plaque, album flopped, bitch, where?” Currently, Remy only has one platinum plaque (for her Fat Joe collaboration “All the Way Up”) and a debut album There’s Something About Remy that undersold at the time of its 2005 release. Minaj appears to double down on that angle later in the verse: “Silly wabbit, to be the queen of rap / You gotta sell records, you gotta get plaques / S, plural.”
Of course, if Nicki and Remy are targeting one another, it hasn’t been a one-sided affair. On the remix to PHresher’s “Wait a Minute,” it seemed Ma was aiming directly at Nicki. “Will I smoke this bitch? Yes,” she rapped. “Probably fail my piss test / Get rid of those fake breasts / And put a vest on this bitch chest.”
But even before this, it seemed Remy had her sights on Nicki’s crown. On “All the Way Up (Remix),” she proclaimed her throne confidently. “My town, my crown, I really rap,” she spit. “I’m home, my throne…When the bitch was gone, they was really playing with it / I was sitting listening like ‘They ain’t even saying shit.'” In that same verse, she added: “One of these bitches, two of these bitches gotta die / Three of these bitches, four of these bitches gon’ cry / Five of these bitches poppin’ pills, they high.” Many were quick to point at Nicki Minaj’s “Pills N Potions” as a target for this line.
It seemed like there was no bad blood between Nicki and Remy. In 2014, Minaj said she was looking for a collaboration. “I was a fan of hers before she went to jail and nothing has changed,” she said. “I’ve always felt like she was at the top of her game and in relation to all the MCs in the game I always felt like she was sitting there at the top. We’ll see. I’m not crossing that off. I feel like we’ll get the right thing and we’ll do it for the people. It’s open, up in the air.”
Around the same time, Reminisce shared love right back. “Nick has always been a supporter and vice versa,” she said. “I like what she does. She’s done wonderful things for females, but I just wish there was more of them. I don’t know what they’re doing letting these guys take over.”
The mutual love parade continued. In June of 2016, Remy celebrated Minaj’s BET Female Rapper of the Year win. “Congrats to @NICKIMINAJ for your BET female rapper of the year 2016 award,” she tweeted. Nicki replied: “Omg. Thank u Remy. That means so much. Congrats to u as well, for an exciting year.”
Congrats to @NICKIMINAJ for your BET female rapper of the year 2016 award😘
— Remy Ma (@RealRemyMa) June 27, 2016
Omg. Thank u Remy. That means so much. Congrats to u as well, for an exciting year. 💟💟💟 https://t.co/yTbTXqmBkT
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) June 28, 2016
But in November, as rumors of their beef popped up, Remy Ma told Rap-Up that she spoke with Nicki about this alleged beef before the talks even started. “When I first came home and she called me, we were talking about working together and things like that,” explained Remy. “I told her people are gonna try to pit us against each other any time I say I’m the best or that ain’t none of these bitches fuckin’ with me, they’re gonna think I’m throwing shots at her and vice versa. I told her ‘Don’t let the people get between us being the artists that we are.'”
Still, questions about their feud persisted. More recently, Remy confirmed that fans wouldn’t have to guess if there was a real beef at hand.
“If you look at the history of Remy Ma,” she said. “Whenever I’ve had a problem with any female in the entire game, I will say your name. I don’t want you thinking about it like, ‘Oh my God. Is she talking about me? You think she’s talking about me?’ I am going to say your government. I’m going to look it up and say your mother’s name, your father’s name, your kids’ name. I want you to know I’m talking about you. What people don’t understand is, I really feel like I am the best. I believe that I am the best. I’m supposed to feel like that. I don’t even know why they’re comparing me to these girls. I feel like I’m better than a lot of these guys. I will rap circles around them. No problem. With my eyes closed. I don’t sit there and think like, ‘Oh my God, she’s probably talking about me.’ I don’t even get in that vain because I don’t play fair. I’m reformed, I’m changed, but I’m not that much changed…I can’t smack anybody. I can’t go find your party, hunt you down, like ‘Who you was talking about?’ I can’t do that. I just write.”
UPDATE: Shortly after Nicki Minaj’s alleged disses were released, Remy Ma unleashed a direct response in the form of “shETHER,” a personal diss track. Listen here.