Editorial: The “Hiss” heard ’round the world


Nicki Minaj is on a tear, and it’s ruining her legacy.

On Jan. 25, Megan thee Stallion dropped “Hiss,” a diss track that takes shots at a handful of rappers. One line in particular has garnered the attention of the entire rap industry. 

The line “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan / These hoes mad at Megan’s law” is allegedly directed at Minaj’s husband, Kenny Petty. Megan’s law refers to the federal law that requires information regarding registered sex offenders to be available to the public.

Petty was charged with first-degree attempted rape in 1995 and is currently serving a three-year probation sentence for failing to register as a sex offender in California. 

Only three days after the release of “Hiss,” the 41-year-old Minaj (yes, you read that right) dropped a single titled “Big Foot” in response. 

The title of the diss track is a shot at the 5’10” Houston rapper’s stature and the first line of the nearly four-and-a-half-minute song takes a jab at Megan’s late mother. And it only gets worse from there. 

The song’s poor mixing and uninspired lyrics make it painfully obvious that it was created in a matter of days, and the last minute of the song is just Minaj’s disembodied voice rambling and pandering.

 But worse than its blatant laziness and unoriginality, the diss track is the archetype of the kind of misguided rage, self-absorption and misogynoir the music industry has come to expect from Minaj. 

The tasteless mentions of Megan’s late mother are weaved through uninspired lines that don’t even attempt to hide their slut shaming. 

Bars like “Talking ‘bout Megan’s law / For a free beat you can hit Megan raw” undercut the sexual horrors that women in entertainment have been through while lacking the self-awareness to notice the insecurity surrounding this whole diss track. 

Minaj also accuses Megan of lying about being shot in the foot by artist Tory Lanez, a controversy that divided the hip-hop industry into the believers and the non-believers. 

The only people more shameless than Minaj herself are her legion of Twitter-crazed “Barbs”  who have been releasing the personal information of people who call out Minaj on social media, in addition to releasing the location of Megan’s late mother’s grave. 

Minaj has a reputation in the industry of targeting and discrediting other women in the rap game. And we can acknowledge that rap beef and the controversial bars that come with it are an undeniable aspect of any worthy rap career. Still, Minaj knows she’s not just another rapper, and she knows she doesn’t have to beef like one. 

She has a history of putting other Black women in the industry down by any means necessary. 

She’s the queen. And the queen fights dirty.  

Minaj has beefed with female artists from Lil’ Kim to Mariah Carey, but her most recent and most memorable dust-up was with Cardi B. The two rappers appeared on the Migos song “Motorsport” together, but after word got out that they had to record their sections of the music video separately there was no going back.

The queen’s reign has to come to an end at some point, and she’s fighting with her dying breath to stay on the throne. 

With “Hiss” earning the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s top 100, thee Stallion has officially claimed as many No. 1 hits as Nicki has in her entire career (three). 

Artists like Megan thee Stallion and Doja Cat have connected with younger audiences as they grew up alongside their rises to stardom. As a result, allegiances between artists and young fans have changed. 

Minaj’s days as the sole acclaimed female presence is numbered, and instead of gracefully passing the torch to the next generation of stars, she is doing everything she can to keep these women under her. And it’s getting harder for her to hide her own desperation. 

Her public meltdown on Twitter and Instagram Live was one thing, but the poorly produced and shameless “Big Foot” has pulled back the curtains on the tyrannical queen of rap, who has long gotten away with stepping on other Black women who have gotten in her way.

But this new wave of female rappers is here to stay, and Minaj is only letting herself fall farther from grace with every empty threat and low blow. 

She can only hide behind the castle walls for so long.

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