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Hip-Hop’s Big Miss Steak: Megan vs. Nicki

Before they hit the stage on their world tours, female rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj broke the internet with their viral feud.
Micha Marrone
(Model: Megan Moton)

Prepare for the heat, because Hot Girl Summer is officially back in style. No—put down that dented Hydro Flask, overpriced coffee drink and retired VSCO filter—I’m talking about Hot Girl Summer, as in the part-season, part-mindset that was coined by rapper Megan Thee Stallion in 2019. Thee Stallion, creator of the viral summer phrase and 2019 hit song, featuring her friend-turned-enemy Nicki Minaj, announced the Hot Girl Summer Tour on March 13 with 26 dates in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to Thee Stallion’s announcement, Minaj commenced her Pink Friday 2 World Tour on the first of March. 

This marks a long-awaited moment for the Hotties, Thee Stallion’s devoted fanbase, who have been waiting almost five years for the H-Town Hottie to arrive to their cities with the Hot Girl Summer experience. But before you decide to take out your booty shorts and turn up your ACs, let’s take a trip down memory lane to the beginning of this year when things first started heating up between two of the biggest female rappers of our generation.

If you’re a music, pop culture or social media enthusiast, then you must have heard about the rap beef between everyone’s favorite hot girl Meg and the “queen of rap” Nicki Minaj. The low-down: This un-hot mess all started on January 26 when Thee Stallion released her single “HISS” in which she raps the bar, “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s law.” 

Megan’s Law is a federal law in the United States that requires local law enforcement to make information regarding sex offenders available to the public. Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, and her brother, Jelani Maraj, are both registered sex offenders. Although Minaj’s name wasn’t mentioned in the lyric, the shoe seemingly fit like Cinderella. Minaj was sent into a spiral where she went on a wild Twitter rampage and Instagram live stream fueled by her pitchfork-wielding fanbase—the Barbz (cue the suspenseful music). 

A week of nasty tweets later, Minaj finally responded with her own track titled “Big Foot.” In this four-minute song, she reiterates the messages of her tweets—slut shaming Thee Stallion and accusing her of lying on her “dead momma.” Pop Base, a pop culture news source, posted the cover image for “Big Foot” with the caption “Cover art for Nicki Minaj’s Megan Thee Stallion diss track ‘Big Foot’.” Minaj quote tweeted Pop Base’s tweet with “Who tf said ‘diss track’?????? don’t play tonight. Fix your tweet”—prompting a reply from Pop Base: “well what do you call it then.” 

Although Minaj’s loyal Barbz did everything to defend their queen, the internet had already made a public opinion. Most people sided with Thee Stallion, including some Barbz. Some netizens even went as far as to call it the end of Minaj’s legacy. In the end, the winner of the diss battle turned out to be “HISS” by Megan Thee Stallion, which topped 10 Billboard charts simultaneously at number one. But does this chart victory for Thee Stallion necessarily mean a loss for the “Starships” rapper? 

(Micha Marrone)

Megan Moton, a 19-year-old Megan Thee Stallion fan, thinks Minaj is jeopardizing her legacy by involving herself in such unnecessary drama at her grown age. “I think she’s tarnishing her image. If she wanted to come back with Pink Friday 2, she should have just done that. This whole ‘Big Foot’ thing did not need to happen,” says Moton, who says she’s a Hottie all the way (and not just because she shares the same first name with Thee Stallion).

Moton thinks Thee Stallion’s bar was definitely a little shady, but she never addressed Minaj by her actual name, so she doesn’t think it was warranted for Minaj to act the way she did. If she really wanted to come for blood, Moton thinks Thee Stallion would have taken matters to social media and made it a bigger deal. Throughout all of Minaj’s messy tweets, Thee Stallion remained silent and has yet to comment on the situation or Minaj’s comments and diss track. 

On March 1, Minaj opened her Pink Friday 2 tour with a sold out show of 25,000 fans at the Oakland Arena. It became the second–highest grossing show for a hip-hop artist in nearly 60 years at the venue. Photos and videos of Minaj’s stage outfits and performance quickly spread across social media, and fans (and haters) were quick to speak their minds on what they truly thought. A brawl even broke out between fans at the show, which quickly went viral online after a video surfaced. 

Among those in attendance of the Oakland concert were Nicole Arakelian, 23, and Jessica Harper, 19, both students at San Francisco State University. Arakelian is a fan of both female rappers, being a long-time fan of Minaj but admitting she sides with Megan in the rap beef. Harper calls herself an “OG Barb” and has been a fan of Minaj since 2008, when Minaj’s career took off. 

Harper likes Thee Stallion and has some of her songs in her workout playlist, but she says internet beef is internet beef at the end of the day and it doesn’t affect her life. “I’m there for the entertainment. Because I’ve been a fan for so long of Nicki, I know all of the lore and I know what’s gone down. I do lean more towards her side because you have to take this beef with [everything] that’s happened,” says Harper. 

In regard to Minaj’s close association with the two sex offenders, Harper says she can understand why Minaj would stand by her immediate family. “I definitely think it’s different when it’s your family member,” says Harper. “I have a family member who’s incarcerated and if I had the money to, I would totally bail him out. Like, no matter what he did.” 

Arakelian and Harper thought one of Minaj’s outfits throughout the night resembled something Thee Stallion would wear—a yellow basketball jersey-inspired dress and boxing hoodie. “It was so funny. Jess took a photo and was like—she kind of looks like Megan in this!” says Arakelian. “I thought she looked more like Megan when she had long black hair and bangs,” says Harper. 

Flowers should be given to Minaj where they are due. One of the highlights of the night was a stunning silver bodysuit she wore with intricate cutouts and fringe shoulder pads. Pop Base tweeted: “Nicki Minaj stuns for her #PinkFriday2 World Tour.” One Twitter user posted: “I hate her………… but I gotta be fair she ate this” to a GIF of Minaj smiling in her fan favorite performance look of the night.

(Micha Marrone)

I think she’s tarnishing her image.”

Although the first show’s styling and production value impressed not only her fans but even those not so fond of her, many were quick to call out Minaj’s lack of energy in her stage performance through the videos captured by fans who attended the concert.

“Nicki… I think she’s just going through stuff. I don’t know if you’ve been seeing her concerts or what she’s been doing, but she’s not giving like she used to give,” says Moton. “With the videos circulating of how she’s acting on her tour, like just not really giving full energy or anything like that, I think that’s gonna make people get refunds and not wanna go. I’m really hoping Megan outsells Nicki.” 

Whether you’re a Barb or a Hottie, this summer is one to reminisce on the Hot Girl Summer era that was in 2019. As the beats drop and the cut-throat lyrics flow, the heat of the rivalry between Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj only adds to the sizzle of the season. So whether you’re vibing to “HISS” or singing along to “Big Foot,” embrace the music, the drama and the energy of Hot Girl Summer. After all, in the world of pop culture, every moment is a stage, and every beat is a story waiting to be told. It’s time to turn up the volume, soak in the sun and make this Hot Girl Summer one for the books.


Taken from the Summer 2024 print issue of Inside Fullerton. Read it here.

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About the Contributors
Mikey Moran
Mikey Moran, Editor-in-Chief
Mikey is a fashion journalism and merchandising major. He finds pleasure staining the countertops and walls of his bathroom blue, listening to difficult dance music and going to underground raves. Mikey aspires to become a publicist working in fashion public relations, or pursue a career as a writer for arts, culture and lifestyle publications.
Micha Marrone, Staff Photographer
Micha was a staff photographer for the Summer 2024 issue of Inside Fullerton.

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