The Nicki Minaj vs. Megan Thee Stallion Feud Has Reached a New Low

Side-by-side of Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj.
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If you opened any social app on your electronic device this past weekend, you were likely greeted with the names of popular female rappers Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion, who are currently embroiled in a very public feud. This current episode of their beef erupted on Friday, when Megan released her song “Hiss.” But the story of the dispute that has landed us here is actually a long and complex one full of twists and turns, with Megan posting ominous screenshots from anime series on Instagram and Minaj going down a multiday public spiral that has drawn comparisons to that episode of SpongeBob SquarePants when the titular sea sponge experiences a momentary psychotic break.

This has been a particularly intense turn of events because just a few months ago, the two rappers were on top of the world. In December, Minaj released her long-awaited album Pink Friday 2, making her the female rapper with the most chart-topping albums to date, and both women had songs on the soundtracks of popular films—Megan with a feature on a song alongside Reneé Rapp for the Mean Girls movie, and Minaj with a song on the Barbie soundtrack with rapper Ice Spice. It can be hard to make heads or tails of how things spiraled so quickly, but don’t fret! Let’s break it all down.

Is there anything I need to know before we dive into this maelstrom that dominated social media over the weekend?

To understand the Nicki-Megan fallout, it’s important to understand Minaj’s history of beefing with other people (mostly women) in the industry. A list of these feuds includes but is not limited to fights in 2007 with fellow female rapper Remy Ma, whose worthiness of the moniker “the queen of rap” Minaj debated; with rapper Lil’ Kim, after a miscommunication in 2009 turned into ire; and with Mariah Carey, whom Minaj argued with while both were judges on American Idol in 2012. And that’s to say nothing of Minaj’s most infamous public battles—you may remember when she blamed her slower-than-she’d-hoped album sales on Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner’s daughter, Stormi, who was 6 months old at the time, or when she asked Miley Cyrus “What’s good?” on live TV at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, or even the brief Twitter spat between Minaj and Taylor Swift (though they did make up, and I personally blame the former country princess for that one). Throughout it all, nothing compares to Minaj’s beef with rapper Cardi B, which fans theorize may have started thanks to Nicki’s fan base (more on that later), and which rose to the level of a physical altercation at a New York Fashion Week party in 2018. Including Cardi B, Minaj has yet to reconcile with any of the female rappers I have mentioned.

Is Megan not included in this laundry list of past rivals, or is their bad blood new blood? Walk me through their history.

If you had heard of the two rappers only within the past week, you would never believe it, but Minaj and Megan actually started out as friends and collaborators. The two exchanged some praise of each other on Instagram Live all the way back in July 2019, during the height of Megan’s “Hot Girl Summer” era. That was a phrase popularized by the rapper, who had been referring to herself as “Hot Girl Meg,” in the run-up to releasing her album of the same name—a name that codified an aspirational way of being that the rapper ushered into the public consciousness. Minaj agreed to hop on the title track of Megan’s album, which also featured musician Ty Dolla Sign. Their song, “Hot Girl Summer,” entered the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100.

So, how did we get from that to *gestures wildly* this?

Though the origins of this new feud are unknown, many believe things took a downturn the following year, when Megan released the megahit “WAP” with Cardi B, who we’ve already established is not Minaj’s favorite person. Though Megan said publicly that nothing had changed between them after “WAP” was released, it is the only thing fans can point to that would explain Minaj’s choice to unfollow Megan on Instagram in January 2021. Over a year later, in September 2022, Minaj insinuated on her radio show, Queen Radio, that Megan had encouraged Minaj to drink during her pregnancy, going so far as to suggest that Megan even encouraged Minaj to terminate her pregnancy.

Of course, Megan took to Twitter to assert that these accusations were lies. Months later, in March 2023, Minaj released the song “Red Ruby Da Sleeze,” which seemingly takes a number of shots at Megan, the most damning line being “700 on them horses when we fixin’ to leave/ But I don’t fuck with horses since Christopher Reeves.” Horses? Stallion? You get it. The song also includes lines that many believe to be digs at Megan’s brand partnership with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Doritos and her injury at the hands of rapper Tory Lanez—who in August was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree assault for an incident in July 2020 during which he shot Megan in the foot.

Take a breath, go to the bathroom, have a stretch, because we’re officially caught up … but merely to the events that occurred before this past weekend.

Phew. OK, I’m ready: What on Earth happened between Megan and Nicki within the past four business days?

All of this brings us to Friday, when Megan released her song “Hiss,” accompanied by a (very good) music video. The song disses many different people, but the part many latched on to were the lines believed to be directed toward Minaj. Of them, the most damning one is: “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law/ I don’t really know what the problem is, but I guarantee y’all don’t want me to start.” Megan never directly explained whom the digs were referring to, instead saying on radio show The Breakfast Club that “a hit dog will holler,” a turn of phrase I really need to add to my personal vocabulary.

What is Megan’s Law, and why do people think it has anything to do with Nicki Minaj?

Megan’s Law, named after Megan Kanka, is a U.S. federal law that requires law enforcement to make information regarding registered sex offenders available to the public. Because of Megan’s Law, sex offenders must register as such in the state where they live and notify local law enforcement of any changes in residence after they are released from custody, though individual states can decide what information to release to the public and how to do so.

Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, is a registered sex offender who was convicted of attempted rape in 1995. In July 2022, Petty was sentenced to a year of house arrest, given three years’ probation, and fined $55,000 for failing to register as a sex offender in California. In 2020 Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj (which is the rapper’s real surname) was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for predatory sexual assault of an 11-year-old, which the victim testified to having occurred in 2015. Minaj has been vocally supportive of both her husband and her brother, during his trial. In 2021 Minaj and Petty were sued for harassment by her husband’s victim, who alleged that the husband and wife tried to intimidate her into recanting her charges. The case against Minaj was voluntarily dismissed, though the victim’s lawyer said they still intended to pursue the case against Petty.

Woof. So, given Nicki Minaj’s known history of spiraling on the internet if someone so much as breathes in her direction, it’s safe to say she did not take this apparent dig well?

Nope! The release of “Hiss,” and the inclusion of the “Megan’s Law” line, caused Minaj to go into an unhinged spiral on social media for at least 72 straight hours. The rapper started by liking and reposting some of the posts (mostly on Twitter) made in support of her that insulted Megan, then she began sharing her own posts, including one in which she appeared to call Megan a “pathological & manipulative liar,” bringing up Megan’s sour relationship with her former record label, calling her a “scary ass pussy ass broke ass heaux” (amongst other things), and insinuating that Megan uses ghostwriters. Minaj also accused Megan of “lying on” her own mother, who passed away in March 2019. And Minaj blamed Pardi—aka Pardison Fontaine, an ex-beau of Megan’s, who released his own Megan diss track titled “Thee Person” after their breakup last year—for blabbing about all of Megan’s alleged hidden secrets.

At the same time, Minaj was fighting for her life on social media against anyone, and I do mean anyone, who seemingly criticized her or even just … mentioned her. For example, Minaj snapped at Pop Base, the tabloidlike social media account that aggregates pop culture news and rumors, for saying that Minaj’s upcoming diss track was, indeed, a “diss track.” This is the equivalent of yelling at a robot, or calling the 6:00 news to tell them they were wrong about the rainy weather forecast, when it’s currently storming outside.

Wait. Did you say Minaj also has her own anti-Megan diss track?

Sigh. Yes. Shortly after Megan released “Hiss,” in the midst of her internet spiral, Minaj went on Instagram Live and previewed her response track, which is called “Big Foot,” a reference to Megan’s assault by Tory Lanez. The live session previewed lyrics such as “Bad Bitch she like 6 foot, I call her Big Foot/ The bitch fell off, I said, ‘Get up on your good foot.’ ” And yes, if you’re keeping track, Minaj did rhyme foot with itself, twice! Minaj officially released “Big Foot” on Sunday, and the song, in full, not only references the shooting and Megan’s height (which is an odd dig, considering Megan already calls herself a stallion) but also repeats the line “lying on your dead momma”—referring to what? The Lord only knows. “Big Foot” made Apple Music history, breaking the platform’s record for biggest debut for a female rapper, as it catapulted up the charts to the No. 2 spot. Currently, “Hiss” and “Big Foot” are atop the U.S. Apple Music charts at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

What has Megan been doing during this time?

Comparatively, Megan has remained mostly calm. She has turned to my absolute favorite weapon used in celebrity beef and public mess: cryptic subposts on Instagram. For example, Megan, famously an anime fan, posted a still of red flowers to her Instagram stories. It’s from the anime Tokyo Ghoul; in the show, the flowers are symbolic of not only death, but a specific death of an innocent, victimized self and the subsequent rebirth of an indomitable one.

What has the public response been to this whole mess?

Well, as to be expected, Black Twitter was having a grand ol’ time circulating memes about Minaj’s spiral and the duo’s squabble. More generally, the public seems to be on Megan’s side. TikTokker Bela Delgado posted a video that effectively read Minaj to filth, claiming that they had been a devout Minaj fan but were turned off by her behavior, and criticizing her for “deflecting from the fact that her husband is a convicted sexual predator.” While some on social media criticized Minaj for her actions, others instead focused on Minaj’s response track, which many found to be lacking in quality, with a few even calling it Seussian. However, plenty also found it to be lacking in tact, including the hosts of the aforementioned radio show The Breakfast Club, which is itself known among the Black community for its misogynistic and queerphobic rage-baiting. So, that’s certainly saying something.

What about Nicki Minaj’s infamous fan base the Barbz? What have they been doing during all of this?

What they usually do: intimidate, dox, harass, and threaten anyone they find who speaks even slightly negatively about their fave. The Barbz have a long, even litigious history of harassing people who dare to critique the rapper to fairly extensive and harmful degrees. Minaj herself has an inconsistent history of condoning this behavior, sometimes staying silent while she is likely aware that it’s happening, and other times outwardly doxxing people herself and encouraging the Barbz to do with that information what they will. (Like the time Minaj tried to dox two journalists who were investigating her 2021 claim that the COVID vaccine had swollen her cousin’s testicles.) The Barbz have also harassed Kenneth Petty’s assault victim. Last year, Minaj publicly asked her fans via Instagram stories to “never threaten anyone” on her behalf, stating, “I don’t [and] never have condoned that.” … Sure!

Obviously, this didn’t last long, as Minaj has not only encouraged her fans to share Pardi’s anti-Megan song, but also sat idly by while the Barbz are back to their usual tricks, allegedly threatening Delgado, revealing the location of Megan’s mother’s burial site, doxxing other TikTokkers, and even harassing Little Miss Flint.

I just spit out my coffee. Did you just say Little Miss Flint? As in the child activist who has been advocating for access to clean water in Flint, Michigan, for years?

You heard me correctly. Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, is a 16-year-old activist who has been trying to get clean water available to inhabitants of that city for almost a decade. Copeny, being the smart girl she is, tweeted asking Megan and Minaj if they would consider donating 1 cent per stream of their diss tracks to her cause for the next 24–48 hours. Unfortunately, her post received an overwhelmingly negative response, mostly from devout fans of Minaj.


Yep! Though I should note that this entire situation has also seemingly encouraged more Barbz than ever to doubt their queen. So maybe the tides are turning.

So … is this all over? Is that it?

The story is still unfolding. According to TMZ, Megan Kanka’s father, Richard Kanka, felt that Megan Thee Stallion’s usage of “Megan’s Law” was disrespectful of his late daughter and the torment his family went through after her death. Megan hasn’t responded to that report. Otherwise, though this has been somewhat entertaining, it has mostly been a bummer. Sure, rap beef is an important and entrenched part of the art form and culture, but it always hits a sour note to see rappers take such low blows as bringing up dead relatives. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how long these rappers hold this grudge, but given their history, I wouldn’t hold my breath.