I believe Lil’ Kim’s exploitation of her feud with rapper Nicki Minaj was an ill advised publicity stunt. It is an example of how poorly managed public relations can have an adverse effect on a person’s image.
The beef began with Lil’ Kim’s need for Minaj to “pay homage” to her as an artist and show her respect. Kim believed that a significant part of Minaj’s appeal as an artist was copied from her. Of course everyone can see the comparison, but the extent to which the respective artists’ demeanors match is largely up for debate. The drama escalated to a point where the two would exchange insults about each other in their songs, leading to Lil’ Kim releasing a mixtape entitled ‘Black Friday’, clearly a reference to Minaj’s most recent album, ‘Pink Friday’. Kim tweeted that she “sold 113,000 copies in 28 hours which made [her] the #1 seller on paypal ever.” This is a figure which many find hard to believe. Not only was her site suffering technical difficulties on the day the mixtape dropped, but people were also upset that Kim was selling her mixtape for $10 when mixtapes are usually free for the public to download.
To add insult to injury, some think that Kim is using her feud to promote her new mixtape. In an interview conducted by billboard.com, rapper Foxy Brown commented that “When you’re using [a feud] as a platform to bring your new album out…I don’t condone it at all… It’s not cute.” Lil’ Kim recently put out a 15-minute-long video on Youtube entitled 'Carbon Copy'. In it she highlights examples of Nicki stealing her style, includes animations of her supposedly killing Minaj and in the process promotes a few of her new songs. Kim’s efforts to prove that she is still the Queen Bee of hip hop are becoming an exercise in futility.
Although I do not highly rate either artist from a lyrical standpoint, I do believe that Nicki Minaj is the more popular of the two in the current hip hop climate. Nicki is still growing as a relatively new mainstream artist and, as a result, has a lot of buzz and excitement about her. On the other hand, Lil’ Kim’s peak came in the early 2000’s, after seeing much success with Junior Mafia in the mid-late 90’s. In my opinion, Kim should stop attacking Minaj and accept the fact that her glory days are behind her. Rather than promoting herself positively, Kim is coming across as petty and jealous, damaging her reputation in the process. I would agree that the feud served its purpose in putting Kim back in the public eye; however, I think it back-fired on her. Would it not have been better for the public to remember her the way she was in the 90’s? Kim’s inability to accept defeat and move on is an example of how a rap artist can promote herself in a negative manner.