Award-winning rapper Nicki Minaj gave fellow legendary female rapper Lil Kim credit for her influence on mainstream culture.
In an interview with rapper and media personality Joe Budden on his YouTube channel, Joe Budden TV, she said she saw both her and Kim’s cultural influence every time she went on the internet.
“When myself or Lil Kim go on the internet every day, we see our influence. I’m not gonna say it’s about me only, and not give that woman her just due about what she did.”
She also told Budden that she and Kim should’ve been on the cover of American Vogue a long time ago because of how many trends they’ve set.
“The same way I feel like I should have been on the cover of American Vogue, so should have Lil Kim if we being all the way a thousand.”
The “Monsta” rapper felt that they hadn’t been on the cover of the prestigious magazine yet because Black women weren’t recognized enough for their cultural impact as much as their white peers. For example, she mentioned alternative singer Billie Eilish’s Spring 2020 Vogue cover.
“When Billie Eilish comes out and sets a trend with her green hair, she’s immediately put on American Vogue,” she said. “When a Black female rapper, who has been setting the trend for ten years does it, no one says anything.”
The 39-year-old even recalled that when she used to do other magazine covers, she was told to remove her signature pink hair, although white pop artists were allowed to wear it.
“I remember I would do magazine covers…and they would always ask me not to wear pink hair, but I would see Katy Perry on the cover with pink hair. I would see Lady Gaga on the cover with pink hair. I came in the game with Chinese bangs and pink hair, but whenever it was time to be represented on certain covers or in fashion, it was ‘No, no, we need you stripped down.’”
Minaj’s props to Kim for being a trendsetter came as a shock, as she and Kim have had a longstanding beef since the late 2000s.
Back in 2010, the “Crush On You” rapper appeared on an episode of New York City’s Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and said that Minaj always hated on her.
“From the moment I met her, I was always cool with her, but, after that…she was always throwing shots…She was basically hating on me but loving me at the same time. Every single record she’s made was coming at me. I didn’t say [anything] about this chick…She wanted to be the only female [rapper out there]. I definitely think she’s overrated.”
However, two of the radio show’s hosts, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God, insisted the “Do We Have A Problem” rapper paid homage to her on numerous occasions. They also asked if the two emcees would ever make amends, and Kim responded, “It will never happen.”
That same year, Minaj sat down with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez and told her that the Brooklyn-born artist was just a sore loser.
“I respect you and love you [Kim]. I’ve said it in every interview, time and time again,” she said. “If that’s not good enough for you, mama, then [there’s] something deep-rooted in you…I feel like you are going to go down in history, now, as a sore loser, as opposed to going down in history as the Queen.”
Yet, she still named her in a list of artists that, she said, she listened to over the years.
“Of course, Biggie…Kim, Fox, and Remy…you know, I had so many people I looked towards,” she told Martinez.
During that time, Kim and Minaj made diss tracks titled “Black Friday”–referencing Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday–and “Tragedy,” respectively. They also continued to throw subliminal shots at each other. Eventually, their drama died down, but they never publicly called a truce.
On Jun. 27, 2021, Kim said, during an interview on the 2021 BET Awards red carpet, that she would like to do a Verzuz battle against Minaj.
The Queens native didn’t respond per se, but Budden guessed that she would be willing to go against Kim since Minaj recently said she’d do a Verzuz.
“We all got to guessing. I already know [who] one of those people would and should be. My guess would be [Lil] Kim,” he told her during Minaj’s interview.
In another interview with Houston’s 97.9’s The Box, released on Feb. 1, Minaj said she was open to sparring with one or two unnamed artists on Verzuz.