Thursday, April 7, 2011
An Open Letter to Lil' Kim
Dear Lil' Kim,
Because this is a fan talking to you, I'm going to make this as short and sweet as I possibly can -- please stop beefing with Nicki Minaj.
I'm not asking you to stop because I think it's a battle you will lose. Black Friday already solidified your victory.
Rather, you need to take the high road, similar to how Jay-Z reacts when rappers (like Game and Jaz-O, to name but a few) attempt to insult him through derisive lyrical content -- ignore, ignore, ignore.
I understand her latest attempt to grab your attention probably stung much more than Roman's Revenge -- a diss track that is confusingly credited to Nicki's alter ego Roman Zolanski (hence, the song's name), an indication that Nicki doesn't really agree with dissing Kim but is doing so only for publicity -- but you've already said enough on Black Friday. In fact, you sounded like your old self circa the Hardcore album, which hit harder and was way more Hiphop than Nicki's pop album debut that was filled with atrocious Autotuned singing.
What you need to do is understand that the music industry, like life, works in cycles, and so if the past is any indication of the future, she, too will soon have an upstart female emcee trying to dethrone her, as Nicki is trying to do to you. That is, assuming Nicki's career matches or exceeds the longevity of yours.
Yes, I know she is on the cover of the current Elle magazine, but is that really Hiphop?
But not to be outdone, you recently landed the cover of the current Vibe magazine, a decidedly better fit than trying to appeal to a demographic that neither looks like you nor listens to your music.
Can't you see Nicki Minaj so desperately wants to be just like you? From your first album's cover (see above photo) to imitating much of your rapping style and fashion sense and even how she got put on (popular rapper du jour co-signs her and puts her on every remix under the sun), Nicki doesn't have an original bone in her body. She even went the plastic surgery route**, something you pioneered in Hiphop and rap.
Every aspect of her career has been modeled after yours. Take it as a compliment, as flattery, but not as a challenge. Although it may seem that her popularity has reached epic proportions, she is not nor could she ever be on your level.
Some more unsolicited advice is to perhaps reassemble the production team that helped put you on top so your fans can once again experience the sassy, "down-ass-bitch" attitude we all fell in love with on songs like Big Momma Thang, We Don't Need It, and especially Will They Die for You (from Ma$e's Harlem World album)?
You actually had some really dope, hard hitting tracks on Naked Truth. But then for some reason you descended into an R&B abyss [which continued on your next album] in which you felt compelled to showcase your singing abilities, leaving many of your rap-loving fans feeling somewhat alienated.
If you're going to do a project filled with singing, why not at least go the Andre3000 route and conceptualize the album so that the cohesive content can potentially make up for the lack of singing ability?
The problem is, as long as you acknowledge Nicki Minaj through your rhymes, we know that she is not only on your mind, but she's on your mind to the point that you feel the need to talk about her instead of conquering new topics that show true progression in a style that helped you win over your millions of fans in the first place.
We've seen other artists get side-tracked by becoming obsessed with talking about other rappers, eventually losing sight of the big picture -- making quality music -- while also losing their careers.
Your fans don't want this same fate to become yours, regardless of how close you may seem to that reality. There is still time to save your career, but the choice in direction is yours to make.
Lufwalnu Nabru Orgen, a fan
** I am in no way endorsing Lil' Kim's plastic surgery, which left her with severe facial disfigurement and unappealingly huge breasts.