With Instagram culture reigning supreme, many hip-hop fans found themselves eagerly riled up last week when Remy Ma swiftly stepped in to remind everyone that the type of beef engrained in the history of rap music has not in fact been reduced to subbing each other on social media in the year 2017. Although there have been some Twitter fingers involved, at the core, Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma are involved in a good ol' fashioned rap beef in its purest form.
While the Feb. 25 release of Remy Ma's "ShETHER," a venomous track that digs into Minaj from literally every angle for almost seven minutes, came as a shock to many, others saw this exact moment boiling up over the course of the past decade and then some. As the Bronx rapper spits each disrespectful bar over the same Ron Browz-produced "Ether" beat Nas used to annihilate Jay Z in 2001, the gravity of the arguably inevitable battle escalates to new heights, placing a newfound pressure for Minaj to fire back.
When looking back on the unruly frenemy-style relationship between The Pinkprint rapper and the Plata O Plomo MC, it's clear that neither have been willing to loosen their grasp on the crown nor let their vision stray far from the throne. Both have had their sights set on the title of Queen of Rap and tactfully make moves to secure their own respective kingdoms. This beef also brings us back to one of hip-hop's oldest turf wars, the Bronx versus Queens.
A vast majority of Minaj's glow-up occurred while Remy was serving a six-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting her friend. At the time in which Remy was incarcerated in 2008, Minaj was first gaining momentum through hustling mixtapes. When the Terror Squad MC was released from prison in 2014, she found herself stepping into a time where Minaj was already established as a household name. At the time, Minaj was enjoying the fruits of her labor following the release of her third studio album and began diving into the acting world. As Remy picked up where she left off, continuing to carve her own lane and work her way up to scoring a recent nominee, alongside Fat Joe, at the 2017 Grammy Awards, the looming beef between her and Minaj hasn't soon disappeared.
When factoring in years of subliminal disses partnered with public tweets of adoration, it's not surprising that we now have what holds the potential to be one of the most significant rap beefs in recent memory. Although, at the time of this report, Minaj has not yet indulged in the temptation to tear into Remy Ma on wax and remains unbothered, their history reminds us that this is, after all, a game of chess, not checkers.
Without further ado, XXL dives into what exactly brought us to arrive at the brutal release of "ShETHER," tracing a timeline full of strategic and not-so-subtle moves each rapper has made over the course of the past 10 years.
Nicki Minaj Gets Straight to It on Playtime Is Over Mixtape
In what has since been fondly referred to as a quality throwback showcasing how far Minaj has since come, this early freestyle marks the birth of this saga. Minaj's 2007 mixtape contained a freestyle later dubbed "Dirty Money," which used the beat from Terror Squad's "Yeah Yeah Yeah." Dive into Minaj's archives and you'll find she fired the first shot against her senior, Remy Ma. "Tell that bitch with the crown to run it like Chris Brown," she raps during the infamous freestyle. "She won three rounds, I'mma need a hundred thou'.../Oh, y'all ain't know? Bet y'all bitches know now."
Remy Ma Didn't Let That First Diss Slide by Unnoticed
At this point in time, Remy was well on her way to establishing herself as the Queen of Rap, prior to getting arrested, while Minaj was still going through the growing pains of doing the same and working her way through the trenches. During an interview from jail in 2010, Remy reflects on how she confronted Minaj about the line at a party, going on to say that she still thinks it was "a stab" at her, adding, "That's what you do in rap, and I'm cool with that."
Cliffy Barz Instigates the Situation
That same year, videographer Cliffy Barz shared an admittedly bizarre video, claiming that he had tracked down Remy Ma's ex-lover, a young woman who claims she's upset that her budding romance with the rapper is over. While the girl in the video has Minaj's likeness but not her voice, a semi-permanent rumor surfaced regarding Remy and Minaj being romantically involved. Both rappers have since come forward on separate and various occasions to publicly deny that they "had relations."
Remy Speaks on Making Peace With Nicki
Aug. 20, 2014
After being released from prison after serving a six-year sentence, Remy Ma made a press run where a private conversation she had with Nicki Minaj found its way into the interview. Speaking with Hot97, she shared that she feels Minaj is "a wonderful woman," speaking very respectfully of Minaj and her successes alike. She also shares why she'd never "come at her crazy," citing that it was very "grown woman" of Minaj to extend an olive branch of sorts to her, similar to how she would if the situations were reversed. Remy also adds that she wouldn't want to tear into someone who was doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing, going on to exclaim that she is proud of how far Minaj's career and talents have taken her.
Remy Jumps on Nicki's "Only" Instrumental
Dec. 10, 2014
Continuing the post-prison "all love" vibes, Remy Ma showed off her freestyle skills over the instrumental from Minaj's platinum single, "Over." This track steered clear of subliminal disses, doubling as a real-recognize-real compliment to Minaj.
Remy Gets Fired Up on Remix of Minaj's "Truffle Butter"
March 28, 2015
This remix marks the beginning of Remy nudging Minaj while flexing on her simultaneously, spitting the line, "People keep saying, 'Rem, you need to drop a record'/I'm like in a minute let me body bitch's records." She then makes a sub to Minaj's music skewing towards mainstream pop music with, "Yeah, for the millions I will kill these pop hoes/Ain't no one in these streets like me and potholes."
Remy Shows Love to Nicki on Twitter Following Her Win at 2016 BET Awards
June 27, 2016
At the 2016 BET Awards, Minaj took home the prize for Female Rapper of the Year, an accolade that Minaj has collected seven years in a row. Although Remy Ma also saw a nomination in the same category, she chose to rise above being a sore loser and congratulated Minaj on the victory. Minaj promptly replied, writing, "Omg. Thank u Remy. That means so much. Congrats to u as well, for an exciting year."
Fans cheered on both MCs for this moment of solidarity, with many saying it was refreshing for two female rappers to be showing each other support and others saying this move showed their "beef" was in parts fabricated, or at least subdued.
Nicki Reminds Us She's Not Ready to "Pass the Baton"
July 15, 2017
Hopping on a DJ Mustard track alongside Jeremih, Minaj's guest verse serves as another reminder of her reign in rap, highlighting both some of her successes and the fact that she's not about to slow down anytime soon. "All these bitches beggin' me to pass the baton/All these bitches tryna fit my crown and my wand/Bitches still my sons, get your sonogram on," she flexes.
Nicki Details How She Has a Collaboration in Mind for Her and Remy
Oct. 17, 2016
Ah, simpler times. During an interview with Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg, the beef Minaj was asked about had nothing to do with her and everything to do with her then-beau Meek Mill feuding with The Game and previously Drake. When Remy's name came up, it was to hint at the fact that, "it's only a matter of time before [Remy] and [Nicki] do something." She even detailed that Diplo made the beat and it was "super hood and hard."
Remy Releases "Money Showers" With Fat Joe
Nov. 10, 2016
In advance of her then-forthcoming album, Plata O Plomo, with Fat Joe, the duo released the promotional single "Money Showers." During the track, Remy raps, "Bitch claiming she the queen, what? Not hardly/Who the fuck gave you your crown, bitch? Steve Harvey?" Yup, that's a bar.
Nicki Claps Back With "Black Barbies"
Nov. 15, 2016
While this very well could just be Minaj doing her thing, some rap fans interpreted her remix of Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" to be a bit of a warning signal to Remy, especially with the possible reference to her phone conversation with Remy following her release.
"She said she got a hit record, I said, 'Oooh shit!'/Picked up my phone 'cause I had to call 'Bullshit!'" Minaj raps. "These bitches havin’ nightmares of my new shit/These bitches pussy and they don't ever do shit."
Remy Pays a Visit to Funkmaster Flex, Fires a Perceived Shot at Nicki
Dec. 8, 2016
During Funkmaster Flex's reoccurring freestyle series, the Bronx MC fired what many assumed to be another subliminal shot against Minaj. Over Nas' "New York State of Mind," Remy spits, "See your whole style, bitten/Pieces ain't hitting/When I said it was written, I was talking bout y'all bitches/Y'all trying to play chess, but why would I play you/When I could knock the whole fucking board off the table." Remy then adds, "All this talk about me and your son/I'm hot and your whole world revolve around me, bitch I am the sun."
Remy's Guest Feature on Phresher's Remix "Wait a Minute" Stirs Up Rumors of Beef
Dec. 25, 2016
To end 2016, a year full of mixed signals, possibly fake love and unspoken tension, Remy fired off one more verse to have fans egging on a lyrical war between the two. "Will I smoke this bitch? Yes/Probably fail my piss test/Get rid of those fake breasts/And put a vest on this bitch chest," Remy raps, before making a claim she'd later revisit, alleging Minaj works with ghostwriters. The line in question goes, "That ghostwriter bout to call her/That lifeline getting shorter."
Remy Reminds Fans That If She Has a Problem With Another Female Rapper, They'll Know
Feb. 15, 2017
Amid a press run promoting her recently released album with Fat Joe, Remy Ma hopped on the mic during an interview with The Breakfast Club to lay down the law and silence accusations that her recent guest verse on Phresher's remix was aimed at Minaj. "Whenever I've had a problem with any female in this entire game, I will say your name..." she states. "I'm going to say your government. I'm going to look it up. I'm going to say your mother's name, your father's name, your kid's name. I want you to know that I'm talking about you."
Remy Releases Plata O Plomo Album With Fat Joe
Feb. 17, 2017
What would a new studio album be without some subliminal disses woven in? On her collaborative effort, Plata O Plomo, with Fat Joe, Remy seemingly fires at Nicki on the previously released promotional single, "Money Showers." When combing through the 12-track release, some lines present themselves as the opportunity to shade Minaj, but nothing too wild appears here.
Nicki Throws Some Jabs on Jason Derulo's "Swalla"
Feb. 23, 2017
After Remy got some assumed punches in over that considerable chunk of time, Nicki Minaj decided to warm up a little bit and get back in the ring. During a guest appearance on Jason Derulo's new single, "Swalla," featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Minaj drops what definitely can be considered a fair warning, hinting at the fact that it's been two years since Remy was released from prison and back in the rap game full throttle. "I gave these bitches two years, now your time's up," Minaj raps. "Bless her heart, she throwing shots but every line sucks."
Nicki Goes for More on Gucci Mane's "Make Love"
Feb. 23, 2017
In addition to the release of Jason Derulo's Caribbean-tinged track "Swalla," Nicki Minaj was also recruited for a guest verse, and on this one, she begins to air it all out, albeit subtly. On Gucci Mane's latest offering, "Make Love," Minaj begins to see red, spitting, "She ain't eatin' but I swear she got some bum ass taste/Text her man like, 'Dawg, how that bum ass taste?'/Pay your rent! And stay in your bum ass place/Oooohhh, oh you the qu-e-e-the queen of this here?/One platinum plaque, album flopped, bitch, where?" Following hinting at the fact that Remy Ma's new project with Fat Joe didn't necessarily fly off the shelves, she makes one more point, "You see, silly rabbit, to be the queen of rap/You gotta sell records, you gotta get plaques."
Remy Drops "Shether" Diss Using Nas' "Ether" Beat
Feb. 25, 2017
While the song has since been taken down from SoundCloud likely due to a sampling problem stemming from using Nas' "Ether," the flame Remy's near-seven minute diss track "ShETHER" ignited is still burning. As the stunned crowd left to grab some popcorn, hip-hop weighed in on the track, with Remy's blatant bodying of Minaj elevating this beef to a new peak.
As Remy listed various receipts breaking apart Minaj's career, personal life, family and more, Minaj set herself up for criticism, responding in a series of now-deleted tweets to Trey Songz's reaction to the track. Remy fires off with “Only time you touch a trigga is when you fucked Trey Songz," to which Trey tweeted, "“Even when you stay out of the way they will have ya name all in some shit. Wake up to new comedy everyday. Focus.”
Nicki responded with “lol. Wut u SHOULD be saying is that it’s not true, seeing as it’s not. Real niggaz do real things […] I done gotchu 6 million plaques.”
Among Remy's other insults on the track, she also revisits the claim that Minaj uses a ghostwriter, as well as claims that Minaj stole her 2009 "jail tweet" to inspire one of her mantras, "All these bitches is my sons." She also gives Minaj a 48-hour deadline, one that we later learn Minaj didn't care to oblige to.
Nicki Responds by Dissing Remy's Album Sales, Calling on Beyonce's Cosign
Feb. 25, 2017
With all eyes glued to Minaj's socials following "ShETHER" made a dent in the Internet, she posted a now-deleted screenshot of Remy Ma and Fat Joe's first-week sales of Plata O Plomo, but then decided she'd rather let Beyoncé do the talking for her. Minah shared a visual clip on her Instagram page, where Bey refers to her as the "rap queen" in her whimsical a cappella voice.
Remy Performs "Shether" Live
Feb. 25, 2017
Although some fans were critical, saying she forgot some of her own lyrics, Remy Ma ran through a rendition of "ShETHER" during a show with The LOX, Cardi B and Lil' Kim. Judging from the video footage, her live performance is just as savage as the recorded version. Remy is out for blood with this one (as if the cover art wasn't enough indication).
Nicki Remains Unbothered, Gives Fans an Update on New Material
Feb. 27, 2017
Perhaps as a bit of a tease to her loyal Barbz, Minaj shared a video update that she and Gucci Mane have been up to something, likely filming the music video for their recent collaboration, "Make Love."
Nicki Is Busy Working With Future
Feb. 28, 2017
After sharing a sneak peak of her video shoot with Gucci Mane, Minaj reminds her fans that she stays working, this time releasing a slew of updates from her forthcoming work with frequent collaborator Future.
Fans are now asking the eternal question: Will Nicki respond?
Remy Unleashes Second Diss Track "Another One"
March 2, 2017
Remy Ma did what many are calling "doing a Drake," because similar to his beef with Meek Mill, she released another track, aptly titled "Another One," going back-to-back with herself since Nicki Minaj ignored her first lyrical attack, "ShETHER." As Remy baits Minaj further, she goes in on the fact that Minaj remains "unbothered," even sharing a throwback photo of a scantily clad Minaj before deleting it in an attempt to get her attention again, hashtagging it "#B4TheButtJob."
"Waited four days, ma, where you been?/ I came here in the 'rari playin' Lil' Kim," Remy spits on the track. "Don't know what made you think that you could fuck with Rem/ But I guess this is what I gotta do to make ya spit."
Maybe this one will get Minaj in the studio; we'll have to wait and see.
Remy Appears on The Wendy Williams Show Dressed for a Funeral
March 3, 2017
Remy Ma appeared on The Wendy Williams Show on Friday, March 3, to promote her new album alongside Fat Joe, Plata O Plomo. Well aware of the fact that her beef with Nicki Minaj would be an unavoidable topic of discussion, she decided to dress the part, donning funeral attire. While speaking on the beef for the first time publicly, she shared that she was merely responding to Minaj's behavior, making the claim that Minaj was working "behind the scenes" to traumatize her career. When host Wendy Williams pointed out her outfit, Remy candidly replied, "My grandmother told me to never speak ill of the dead."
Foxy Brown Teases a Diss Track of Her Own
March 3, 2017
Despite reportedly giving birth during Remy Ma's ambush against Nicki Minaj, the Ill Na Na herself decided to enter the ring. Releasing a snippet of a new track titled "Breaks Over," Foxy decides to take matters into her own hands and lay down her own law over Jay Z's Kanye West-produced "Takeover" beat. Considering Foxy has dealt with her own fair share of beef involving other female emcees over the years, it's not all too surprising that she'd want to insert herself into the middle of this one too.
Lil Jon Adds His Two Cents to the Beef
March 3, 2017
Lil Jon also threw his two cents into the situation regarding Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj's beef. TMZ caught up with the rapper while he was walking through LAX airport to find out what he thought of the rappers' war of words.
“The first one was crazy,” Jon said regarding Remy's "ShETHER" diss. As for "Another One," he felt the Terror Squad member could've went without releasing. “She kinda didn’t have to do that second one. I didn’t even hear the second one yet. I don’t even wanna hear it ’cause the first one was so good.”
As for Nicki Minaj, Lil Jon feels it's in her best interest not to respond to Remy at this point.
Remy Ma Says She’s Done Beefing With Nicki Minaj
May 13, 2017
Remy guest starred on the daytime talk show The Real and addressed the status of the beef, saying it was essentially done with.
"The dust has settled," she said. "Some people don't get that the dust has settled. But I can understand. It's kinda hard to see the dust settling when you are in a grave under the dirt."
Nicki Claims Papoose Wrote Remy Ma’s “Shether” Diss
June 9, 2017
It really seemed like the Nicki and Remy drama was done—that is until a guest verse from Nicki brought the situation back up. “I’ve been winning eight years consistently, at least respect it/Papoose wrote a ‘Ether’ record, but I broke Aretha record,” Nicki raps during his guest verse on 2 Chainz' "Realize."
Remy Disses Nicki at 2017 Summer Jam
June 11, 2017
While Remy Ma was performing at Summer Jam 2017, the Bronx rapper made a bold move that threw a gallon of gasoline to re-ignite the fire. Remy brought a slew of female MC's onstage—everyone from Lil Kim, Queen Latifah, Lady of Rage and MC Lyte to Cardi B and Young M.A—and performed "ShETHER" while unflattering images of the Young Money MC were projected on-screen behind her.
Nicki Performs "No Frauds" in Atlanta
June 17, 2017
Nicki Minaj performed her Remy Ma diss track “No Frauds” at Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash Concert in Atlanta—an event that Remy performed at the same day.
Remy promptly hopped on social media to clear up the online rumors that she was in the building when Nicki performed "No Frauds."
“I know niggas is not out here trying to act like we were all in the same building and you was acting all tough and hardcorial,” Remy says in posted video. “First of all, nobody even looks at you like that. Do you know nobody believes you’re tough like that?”
Remy Ma Wins BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
June 26, 2017
Remy Ma won the 2017 BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist and used her acceptance speech to take a subliminal shot at Nicki.
Remy capped things off by delivering four bars from her Plata O Plomo song, “Spaghetti.””I just wanna say, ‘Y’all bitches got fat while we starved/Shots in your ass, pads in your bras/Y’all some liars it ain’t no facts in your songs/And yeah that crown is coming back to the Bronx,” Remy rapped.
Nicki Disses Remy at NBA Awards
June 27, 2017
When Nicki Minaj took the stage at the first ever NBA Awards in NYC, she decided to perform her Remy Ma disses, "Realize" and "No Frauds."