How Nicki Minaj And Remy Ma’s Relationship Went From Friendly Competition To Actual Beef

The rivalry between the two New York rappers has been a decade in the making.

Illustration Leah Mandel
March 10, 2017
How Nicki Minaj And Remy Ma’s Relationship Went From Friendly Competition To Actual Beef

On Thursday night, over two weeks after Remy Ma dropped "ShETHER," Nicki Minaj responded to the direct shots from her fellow New York MC on "No Frauds." The song marks Nicki's lyrical entry into a beef that, in recent months, went from subliminal barbs to an all-out war. But the history of Nicki and Remy's relationship extends back much further.


For the last decade, the two maintained a friendly competition: in the early aughts, Remy was the undisputed Queen of New York, while Nicki was the hungry up-and-comer. Minaj's rise through the ranks of rap, and her crossover success, occurred while Remy was serving a six-year sentence for accidentally shooting her friend. Now, in the 18 months since her release, Remy's career has seen a resurgence and, once again, the dynamic has shifted. The timeline below traces the development of Nicki and Remy's contentious relationship.

July 2007: Nicki Minaj called out "that bitch with the crown" on her Playtime Is Over tape.

Looking back, it seems clear that this was the beginning. On a freestyle, commonly known as "Dirty Money," from her 2007 Playtime Is Over mixtape, Nicki went in over Terror Squad's "Yeah Yeah Yeah" instrumental. "Tell that bitch with the crown to run it like Chris Brown," she raps. "She won three rounds, I'mma need a hundred thou/ Oh, y'all ain't know? Bet y'all bitches know now."

The lines were subliminal, but Remy's status as the reigning queen at the time, coupled with the fact that the freestyle was rapped over a Terror Squad instrumental, led some, including Remy herself, to wonder if the lines were meant as a more direct shot.

Summer 2007: Remy confronted Nicki about the perceived diss at her mixtape release party.

Remy heard Nicki's words loud and clear and wasn't about to let them slide. While incarcerated at Bedford Hills Correction Facility in 2010, Remy discussed Nicki's freestyle in an interview. Remy remembered confronting Nicki about the lines at the release party for her mixtape. "To this day I think it was stab at me," she said. "That’s what you do in rap, and I’m cool with that.”

December 2007: A rumor spread that Nicki and Remy were romantically involved.

Cliffy Barz's 2007 video entitled "Remy Ma Ex Lover Speaks!!!" is a bizarre relic of mid-aughts YouTube. The video shows a woman who claims to have been in a relationship with Remy. The video's subject slightly resembled Nicki and a rumor that the two had been romantically involved took off, so much so that both rappers later had to publicly deny the false claims on multiple occasions.

August 2014: Remy said how proud she is of Nicki's success in post-prison interview.

After serving six years, Remy was released from prison and went on a press run. In an interview with Hot 97, Remy discussed a conversation that she had with Nicki, calling the Queens rapper "a wonderful woman." Remy also said that she's proud of Nicki's success and explained that she wouldn't “come at her crazy” because she didn't believe in tearing down "a successful black female that's doing what she's supposed to be doing."

March 2015: Remy sent some subliminals on her "Truffle Butter Remix"

Remy Ma sent shots at unnamed woman rapper in a 2015 freestyle of Nicki's "Truffle Butter" instrumental. “People keep saying, ‘Rem, you need to drop a record’/I’m like in a minute let me body bitch’s records,” she raps. Remy also spits, "She a lil hoe, black eyes like a raccoon/ Knockout, leave her snorin'/ leave your head full of blood, girl you should join a rap crew/ 'cause as a soloist you boring." While Remy mentions no names, the line seems to reference Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne's "Knockout" single, which was released while Remy was locked up and marked Nicki's first entry into the Hot 100.

June 2016: Remy congratulated Nicki on winning Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the BET Awards.

At the 2016 BET Awards, Nicki Minaj took home the Female Hip Hop Artist award, as she had for the previous seven years. Remy was also nominated the award but took to Twitter following the show to congratulate Nicki on her win. Nicki, in turn, responded with gratitude.

September 2016: The BET Hip-Hop Awards were another story...

Remy Ma joined her husband Papoose and others for a BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. During her freestyle, Remy again took aim at a fellow woman MC, rapping "Take away they stylist they don't know what style is."

November 2016: Fat Joe and Remy Ma released "Money Showers."

In the lead up to their collaborative album, Fat Joe and Remy Ma shared the single "Money Showers." On the track, Remy steers the conversation back to the topic of rap royalty. “Bitch claiming she the queen, what? Not hardly/Who the fuck gave you your crown, bitch? Steve Harvey?”

November 2016: Nicki might have fired back on "Black Barbies."

Five days after the release of "Money Showers," Nicki shared her remix to Rae Sremmurd's viral single "Black Beatles." On "Black Barbies," she raps, "“She said she got a hit record, I said, ‘Ooh shit!’/ Picked up my phone ’cause I had to call ‘Bullshit!'/ These bitches havin’ nightmares of my new shit/ These bitches pussy and they don’t ever do shit.”

At the time, fans speculated that the lines were directed at Remy, citing Nicki's references to the success of "All The Way Up" and the phone call following her release.

December 2016: Remy appeared on Hot 97 and rapped "Wanted to be an icon/ Ended up like Akon."

Remy and Papoose stopped by Funkmaster Flex's radio show in December, and Remy hopped on the mic to deliver some lines she had written that day. Remy seemed to reference Nicki's pop aspirations and her use of auto-tune, rapping, ""Wanted to be an icon/ Ended up like Akon." She also referenced a popular Nicki catchphrase: "All this talk about my son and your son/I’m hot and your whole world revolve around me — bitch, I am the sun."

December 2016: Remy hopped on Phresher's "Wait a Minute” and the internet goes crazy.

At the end of 2016, Remy guested on the remix of Phresher's "Wait A Minute." In her verse, Remy's subliminal shots got more specific, as she leveled accusations of ghostwriters and breast implants against her still unnamed foe. Fans on social media seemed to know exactly what was going on.

February 2017: Remy Ma gave us a reminder that when she beefs, she names names.

Remy and Fat Joe stopped by The Breakfast Club earlier this year to promote their Plata O Plomo album, and Remy responded to a question about her lines on Phresher's remix. "Whenever I’ve had a problem with any female in this entire game, I will say your name” she said. “I’m going to say your government. I’m going to look it up. I’m going to say your mother’s name, your father’s name, your kid’s name. I want you to know that I’m talking about you.”

February 2017: Nicki released "Swalla" and "Make Love."

On two guest verses, released the same day, Nicki seemed to respond to Remy. On Jason Derulo's "Swalla," Nicki referenced the amount of time Remy had been out of prison, rapping, "I gave these bitches two years, now your time’s up/ Bless her heart, she throwing shots, but every line sucks."

Her verse on "Make Love" was a more direct shot. "Oh oh, you the queen of this here?" she raps. "One platinum plaque, album flopped, bitch, where?"

February 2017: Remy dropped "shETHER."

Remy Ma properly set it off by dropping "shETHER," a six-minute diss track over Nas's "Ether" instrumental that begins with a pitched-down voice saying, "Fuck Nicki Minaj." Remy again pointed to her earlier claims of ghostwriting and plastic surgery and claimed Nicki stole the "All these bitches is my son" line from her. The internet went crazy over the diss, while we all waited for Nicki to respond.

February 2017: Nicki posted some facts and figures to Instagram.

😘 she said *bey 🎀 *bigger

A post shared by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Nicki responded by posting a screenshot of Remy Ma and Fat Joe's disappointing first week album sales. She then shared a video on Instagram, in which Beyoncé referred to Nicki as the "rap queen."

March 2017: Remy dropped her second diss, "Another One."

After waiting days for Nicki to respond, Remy dropped a second diss track, "Another One," which has since been deleted from the internet. “Waited four days, ma, where you been?/ I came here in the ‘rari playin’ Lil’ Kim,” Remy raps on the song. “Don’t know what made you think that you could fuck with Rem/ But I guess this is what I gotta do to make ya spit.”

The response to the track online was overwhelmingly negative, as social media characterized the song as Remy's failed attempt at going back-to-back.

March 2017: Remy Ma appeared on Wendy Williams dressed in all-black

Remy and Fat Joe appeared on Wendy Williams, and Remy showed for the show dressed for a funeral. Remy fielded questions on the beef, and explained that Nicki had attempted to keep her off of red carpets at award shows and generally interfere with her career. When Williams asked her about her outfit towards the end of the interview, Remy replied, “My grandmother told me to never speak ill of the dead.”

March 2017: Remy Ma said she's "not particularly proud" of the beef

During an interview with BuzzFeed's Another Round podcast, published March 8, Remy Ma discussed life in prison, her marriage, and the beef with Nicki.

“I actually liked her but don’t try and come for me,” Remy said. “It just bothers me that me picking apart another female is what went viral. We could’ve done this working together.” When asked why she thought that didn't happen, Remy responded, "It wasn’t me, I just think it would’ve been cooler if we came together and did something crazy and that’s what everyone was talking about. I don’t regret it, I’m just not particularly proud of it.”

March 2017: Nicki finally responded with "No Frauds."


A post shared by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

After multiple weeks, Nicki finally delivered a lyrical response to Remy. On Thursday night, she dropped three tracks, and explicitly addressed the beef on "No Frauds," a track featuring Young Money cohorts Drake and Lil Wayne.

"Tried to drop 'Another One,' you was itchin' to scrap / You exposed your ghostwriter, now you wish you were scrapped / Heard your pussy on 'Yuck,' I guess you needed a pap / What type of bum bitch shoot a friend over a rap," she raps.

Nicki also took to Instram to share a note. "Young Money, we don't do diss records, we drop HIT RECORDS," she wrote, before adding a challenge: "U got 72 hours to drop a hit and I'll give u half a million dollars if u can book ANY show or interview w/o mentioning the Queen name."

How Nicki Minaj And Remy Ma’s Relationship Went From Friendly Competition To Actual Beef