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Rap beef: Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj’s feud explained

Graphic by Ethan Nelson

Nicki Minaj broke the internet with her new track “Big Foot.” 

Unfortunately, the track is not about some large, hairy, mythological creature. Instead, it has been perceived as a diss to Grammy award winning artist Megan Thee Stallion, in spite of Minaj’s assertion via a post on X that “Big Foot” was not a diss track. 

Despite their collaborations on projects like “Hot Girl Summer” in 2019, the prominent rappers’ relationship has taken a turn for the worse. As a result, many are wondering, what the hell happened? 

Friction began after Megan’s release of “Hiss” on Jan. 26. The song, which appears to be a single leading up to her third studio album, featured a controversial line: “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s law.” 

Megan’s Law is the name of a federal law that requires law enforcement to notify the public about information regarding registered sex offenders. Internet-goers dissected this line and linked it to Minaj, whose husband, Kenneth Petty, was convicted for attempted rape in 1995. 

Historically, Minaj has been a bastion for Petty despite his status as a registered sex offender. In November 2019, talk-show host Wendy Williams made charged mentions of Petty’s insidious history. Soon after, Minaj responded to Williams on an episode of her Apple Music radio show, “Queen Radio.”.

“I didn’t know that people can’t turn over a new leaf,” Minaj remarked. 

Minaj’s track-record as a sexual assault apologist continues with the release of “Big Foot.” The track received nearly 2.5 million streams on YouTube in its first 24 hours, making it the biggest debut for a female rap artist this year. Minaj calls out Megan with quippy bars like “Bad b—, she like 6 foot, I call her Big Foot, the b— fell off, I said get up on your good foot,” 

The song’s hook references the Houston artist’s 2020 altercation, in which rapper Tory Lanez shot Megan in the foot. Lanez was later convicted of the crime in December of 2022 and subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

Although Megan has not responded to Minaj’s track directly, fans have done much of the talking for her. Some of Minaj’s fans, also known as “Barbz,” have gone so far as exiting the fandom entirely. 

One former fan replied under Minaj’s most recent Instagram post, “ma’am megan dissed your husband not you. Megan’s law wasn’t raw but you let him hit raw, he likes you because you act like a child. i’m turning my barb pass in now STREAM HISS.” 

Despite its commercial success, “Big Foot” is causing Minaj’s public reception to decline, especially among her audience. For many, her antics were distasteful, poorly executed and a testament to the ever-evolving rap game, as one comment puts it: “Megan the queen of rap now sorry ma.”

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