Respect the Queens.
Ja Rule shared his thoughts on the impact of Nicki Minaj in a recent interview, but was met with backlash from fans who felt he ignored key women within the genre while praising his fellow Queens native.
During a sit-down with The Shade Room, the “Always On Time” hitmaker asserted that Minaj’s place in Hip-Hop is “solidified” in part thanks to there being “no female MCs out and about before Nicki came out. Before her, the last one was like, Lauryn Hill. And then before her it was, like, Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa and artists like this, MC Lyte.”
While the rhymer may have had good intentions, fans immediately called out Rule for ignoring the plethora of women who dropped before Minaj and after Hill, including Missy Elliott, Trina, Eve, and others. Many also took issue with Ja skipping over two of the most influential women in Hip-Hop history: Lil Kim and Foxy Brown.
“So we just gonna skip over what Lil’ Kim & Foxy did for the culture. These ladies changed the game and it hasn’t been the same since. In terms of impact, Lil’ Kim & Foxy is it. The rest have been duplications,” wrote one fan, with another adding, “So he’s just gonna skip lil Kim like she wasn’t dominating the industry as an iconic female rapper for years ????? Love Nicki but I’m truly tired of the lil Kim disrespect.”
“I just don’t understand how Trina is never mentioned. This is why I rock with all women rappers from the South. To say there were no female rappers out in the 00s is wild,” another observer shared, with another writing, “Eve deserves her roses if anything because in her prime Eve done so much from music to her own Tv show etc.”
Several Barbs, however, did come to Ja and Nicki’s defense, arguing that the “Holla Holla” rapper was likely referring to Minaj’s longevity in the game compared to other women who rock the mic.
“He’s asked about Nicki because she still relevant in music RIGHT NOW,” a Minaj fan offered. “She’s had an amazing career in Rap that the other ladies don’t. Nicki is considered an Legend yet she is STILL about to hold majority of the market share. No other Rap Female Legend is doing that. That’s commendable and needs to be studied. Nicki gets as much Hate as she do Praise. Keep it a Stack.”
Others praised Rule for showing love to the ladies of the golden age, with one fan writing, “Everybody in the comments keeps saying is he just gonna skip Lil Kim and Foxy Brown? What people have been skipping over Queen Latifah MC [Lyte] for years they pave the way along with salt and pepper people act like a lil Kim and Foxy Brown invented female rap. MC Lyte was one of the first female rappers to have a full album. Where is her respect?”
Rule later added, “The female MC they’re having a run like they’ve never had before, and to me, in my opinion, I would say Nicki re-opened that door.”
Check out Ja Rule’s full interview with The Shade Room below.