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The Power of Words

My Take on Megan Thee Stallion v Nicki Minaj

By Diedre Montegue

Graphic By Sarah Tocci

Was anyone else sad to see two of hip-hop’s greatest female rappers take hits below the belt with their diss tracks toward one another? 

I know I was. 

Let me back up. For those who do not know, rapper Megan Thee Stallion released her latest song, “Hiss,” on Friday, January 26, where she blasted all her haters.

According to The Washington Post, while no names were mentioned in the song, a number of the song’s lyrics appear to point at rapper Nicki Minaj and her family. 

One of those pointed lines is, “These h--s don’t be mad at Megan, these h--s mad at Megan’s Law.”

The Post says this lyric could refer to a federal law named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and murdered in 1994 by their neighbor, a convicted child molester.

After the Kanka family campaigned for legislation to require police to share information with the public about convicted and registered sex offenders, the law came to pass, The Post reports. 

The Post further reports that Minaj and others on social media seem to believe that Meg Thee Stallion’s lyrics were directed at Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty — a registered sex offender who served four years in prison after he was convicted of attempted rape in 1995 and was put on probation in 2022 for failing to register as a sex offender in California.

The New York Times reports that Minaj seemed to take the lines personally, as she released her own song in response called “Big Foot,” in which she makes direct references to Meg Thee Stallion, including her 2020 assault by the rapper Tory Lanez, who shot her in the foot and is now serving a 10-year prison sentence

These lyrics appear to accuse Meg Thee Stallion of lying about being shot and invoking her deceased mother, who passed away. 

Hearing these tracks hurt my heart and made me question when we got to the point where taking other artists down became our form of entertainment? 

Billboard reports that both artists achieved success with these new singles, as “Hiss” launched at No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, while “Big Foot” opened at No. 10 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.


While I know there is a strong history of diss tracks within hip-hop, I wonder if these songs are a sign that maybe we should let this tradition go?

It’s one thing to diss each other on superficial things, but when we get into talking about family, accusing others of lying about getting shot or dead parents – it’s entering dangerous territory. 

I also think about the missed collaboration opportunities, both personally and financially. 

On a personal level, I think it shows power and strength to see women, especially Black women and women of color, coming together to contribute individual talents in a collective, positive way. 

Furthermore, on a financial level, it is clear that we do better together. Lil’ Kim’s 1997 hip-hop song “Not Tonight,” featuring Da Brat, Left Eye, Missy Elliott, and Angie Martinez, was No. 6 six on the Billboard charts for 21 weeks. 

In 2019, Minaj and Meg Thee Stallion hit No. 1 on the Rolling Stone 100 Chart with their hit “Hot Girl Summer,” which was the first time a female artist collaboration had seen the top of the chart in its month-long history, according to

Overall, words have power, and I think that these songs are prime examples of how words can cut deep and leave lasting scars. 

I’m hoping for a future where these women and other artists will use their voices to uplift and empower themselves and each other. Maybe then, the world will follow suit.


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