Just the song cover alone let you know that Remy wasn’t bringing no subliminal bullshit.
It’s now painfully apparent that one of the most vicious and precisely aimed diss records in the history of Hip Hop was shot by a convicted female felon at what many would say WAS the only relevant female emcee in the game today. There’s no argument that Ms. Pink Print has held it down for the women in the rap game for just about as long as Remy Ma was sitting behind the wall at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. In that time, the momentum built up from artists like Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliot, Eve, Trina and others coming into the new millennium had all but come to a complete halt with the exception of who many chalked up as just a Lil Kim wannabe; Nicki Minaj.
Those who are old enough to remember the Nas vs. Jay-Z battle will confirm that the climate of Hip Hop’s “bling era” was type stale and a battle between NYC’s best rhyme spitters brought excitement back to the community that was still healing from the deaths of Biggie and Tupac after their battle on wax. Verses about material possessions or sexual prowess weren’t conversation worthy among real rap aficionados anymore since rappers no longer had a financial or creative ceiling, but when they heard the “Fuck Jay-Z” on the beginning of Nas’ “Ether”, everyone paid acute attention because they knew regardless of who made the most money, that’s what the essence of an emcee is made of. Also, someone’s career could be over at the end of the verse. Remy Ma, being raised the borough of Hip Hop’s birthplace and reppin’ an extension of the legendary Diggin’ In The Crates crew(Terror Squad) she knew the importance of dropping a competitive track like Ether, thus, “Shether” was born. Just as Jay knew he had to beat the best in order to be the best and as Kool Moe Dee knew before he took on Busy Bee and as the Blastmaster knew before BDP dropped “The Bridge Is Over”, Reminisce Mackie made a conscious decision to take a shot at the throne…and she hit the bullseye.
Now, what is the next move for Nicki? For the rookie minded Hip Hopper or music fan in general, the answer would be for Nicki not to respond and continue to make the mainstream hits that made her a household name. Well, Onika hails from a similar background and understands how her career could be disgraced by this, so a comeback of some sort is due, especially since her rhyme writing skills have now been put on trial. It’s a reminder that her success morphed from a culture that thrives on the notion that your entertainment persona mirrors your real life and you better be ready to prove it. Besides the fact that she is a lyrical beast being a prodigy of the late Big Pun, a large part of Remy’s appeal is that she shot her former friend for “sneak theiving” from her, went up north, did her time and is now back on the scene. That street certification and spontaneity has always overshadowed mainstream success in the Hip Hop community. Add on the accusations of being a negative role model for girls and supporting a pedophile and you have the contents of a real intellectual challenge for Nicki Minaj in striking back at Remy in front of the culture that made her the successful artist she is today. After all, that’s what Hip Hop is about.