If People magazine is the Bible, and Us Weekly, the Quran, then celebrity gossip site Hollywood Life is more or less a pamphlet that a poorly dressed, almost comically incoherent religious zealot tries to hand you while en route to a subway platform. The site is not taken seriously for a reason—majorly rooted in them not reporting anything that even sounds remotely plausible. Despite this knowledge, when I read the story that Meek Mill allegedly wants Nicki Minaj to collaborate with Lil’ Kim, I remained intrigued.
According to the site’s source, Meek Mill told Nicki Minaj “if she got together with Kim in the studio and came up with a collab, they’d own rap!” The source goes on to add, “He reminded Nicki that they’re in business for money, not for feuds! Nicki loves her dollars more than her A-1 steak sauce.” And apparently “she’s thinking really hard as to whether she can stomach working with Kim.”
Be very clear: I don’t believe any of this shit.
For one, Meek Mill is unfortunately still taking jabs at Drake despite Drake metaphorically not only beheading him, but proceeding to bounce his chopped-off head like a basketball only to kick it down a rolling hill of failure. So, as far as the letting-go-of-the-petty-for-the-sake-of-profit plan goes, it’s not one likely pushed by the Philly MC.
Meanwhile, there’s also the reality that Nicki Minaj doesn’t need a Lil’ Kim collaboration to make money. Nicki Minaj just wrapped a tour, sells plenty of Myx Moscato, has since sold a television show, and well, you can turn on the radio at any moment and it will not take long to hear Nicki’s voice emanating from your speakers. I imagine someone at this very moment wants to toss out her album sales. Before you do that, be very clear that while they are not Pink Friday numbers, she is still moving more units than a lot of your favorites in 2015.
As for Lil’ Kim, many are willing to go back and forth all day on whether or not she is still the Queen Bee. I don’t especially care anymore; she’s a queen and a legend no matter where you place her now. She doesn’t have to chase radio anymore; her status is cemented. I long for a Lil’ Kim comeback, but if one does happen, it doesn’t require the assistance of Nicki Minaj to happen. She just needs better material than we’ve heard on recent mixtapes.
All those reality checks aside, I want this rumor to be true despite the overwhelming evidence that it is far from it. I wish Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim could manage to put their differences aside and come together. And not just because it’d be nice to see the original Beehive and Team Minaj end their virtual knife fight on social media.
Nicki’s success notwithstanding, there remains a lack of mainstream female rappers. There are more women but none who come close to having even a fraction of Nicki’s success. There was one possibility, Azealia Banks, only now she’s essentially Foxy Brown without the hits. That is, full of controversy but without the hugely successful catalog. Yes, Iggy Azalea is still alive, and upon word that she is working with the likes of Max Martin, not nearly as done as many would literally scream otherwise. But she will never count—not rapping like Charli Baltimore’s cousin with a Diamond from Crime Mob obsession anyway.
Hip-hop could not only use more estrogen, but it would be great to see the intergenerational female rapper dynamic. It’s already happened repeatedly with the men in rap.
Whether or not “they’d own rap” depends heavily on the material. For every “***Flawless” and “Telephone,” there is a “Beautiful Liar” and “Pretty Girls.” If the song were good, the impact would be huge.
I’m old enough to remember when women rappers frequently worked with each other.
I may have never gotten Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown’s Thelma and Louise album, but at lease there are previews of what could have been. And while Kim never did a joint album with Foxy, she did work with other female MCs like Missy Elliott and Left Eye. She’s since said she’s open to working with Remy Ma, with whom she used to beef.
For all of Nicki Minaj’s accomplishments, she’s yet to work with as many other female rappers as her predecessors. Some of that had to do with so many people taking shots at her in the midst of her rise. Those days are gone now, though. She may very well be the new Queen of Rap, but she looks quite lonely from the top. I would love that shift to begin with Lil’ Kim, but even if it doesn’t, it has to happen. It’s time.