Diss records are as much about timing as they are content. For months, Nicki Minaj appeared unwilling to respond to Lil Kim’s taunt’s of “biting” and image appropriation. Even when Drake came to her defense in interviews, Minaj remained silent. That is, until this past weekend, when Minaj warped into her alter ego Roman Zolanski to lay the gauntlet down on Kim with “Roman’s Revenge.”
Swizz Beatz, as all Hip-Hop fans know by now, is very hit or miss when it comes to his production. Here, he delivers a skittish beat that actually goes well with the random inflections and over the top enunciations that Minaj uses. Nicki’s verses aren’t sustained attacks at Kim, but certain lines are a very blatant challenge to Kim’s credibility as an emcee.
“I’m startin’ to feel like a dungeon dragon/ Look at my show footage, how these girls be spazzin’/ So fuck I look like gettin’ back to a has been?” Minaj asks incredulously. “Yeah, I said it, has been/ Hang it up, flatscreen!”
What hurts the verse is simply the fact that Minaj gets lazy in certain parts. Because her hard-hitting bars are sandwiched between weak punchlines (“I’m a bad bitch, I’m a cunt/ And I’ll kick that hoe, punt!”), it kills the momentum as soon as you began to really get into her lyrics. The same pattern follows her next verse, when nice jabs framing Kim as jealous are stifled by more filler, pause flow punchlines (“You wanna sleep on me…overnight!”) and a ridiculous ending metaphor that has her going into spasm with Eli Manning’s name.
Eminem is in excellent form with his flow, and would have been the consensus talk of the track if it weren’t for Nicki’s disses. Now, the ball is back in Lil Kim’s court. The Queen Bee is no stranger to lyrical confrontations, having went at Tupac, Eve, Foxy Brown, and Remy Ma to name a few. She also knows what it feels like to take a few lumps in battles (see Foxy’s verse on CNN’s “Bang, Bang”).
Kim has got her battle, but it will be on Nicki Minaj’s terms. It’s no coincidence that she’s addressing this mere weeks before her album drops on November 22. Does Kim take the bait and go for a quick response, or will she take her time? Stay tuned.
NICKI MINAJ X EMINEM “ROMAN’S REVENGE