By now most have heard, read, talked (possibly ad nausea) about the beef between veteran femcee Lil Kim and rap newbie Nicki Minaj. The nasty back and forth between the two New York rappers has played on wax, blogs and the social media outlet Twitter. Yesterday a presumably innocent bystander got caught up in the heated female rap conflict. R&B songstress Keyshia Cole had a spat with Lil Kim on Twitter that opened a new chapter on the snooze-worthy drama that is Nicki vs Kim.
Keyshia, apparently expressing frustration over not being nominated for a 2011 BET Award, went on Twitter to vent. The Queen Bee got messy, suggesting directly to the R&B singer on the public forum that perhaps Cole’s lead single "I Ain't Thru," from the singer’s latest album, Calling All Hearts, didn't sizzle because she chose to team up with Kim’s arch-nemesis Nicki Minaj. It was a move Kim called “disloyal.” The genesis for Kimberly’s hurt feelings was Cole’s 2006 single “Shoulda Let You Go,” where the Brooklyn MC lent a noteworthy guest performance. The song was a popular club banger that reached as high as No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart. In Kim’s eyes KC should have honored that partnership by not working with Nicki four years later.
Cole responded to the unsolicited comments by firing back: "N while we're addressing everything, Lil Kim and I a r not 'friends' I take that term very seriously. We made wonderful music. That is it."
Lil Kim took insult and went on a long rant: "@keyshiacole U got that right. We are not friends. The same way U take friendship seriously i take loyally serious. @keyshicole Only someone who's trying to build a sincere relationship does show 4 free & supports u did not pay me a dime 4 none of that. @keyshicole That warrants some type of loyalty and respect."
To which Cole responded: "@LilKim Kim that was a gr8 look 4 I coming out of jail just as it was a gr8 look for missy to have produced it. @LilKim all I'm saying is don't have everyone thinking I was disloyal as a 'friends' cause we were never that and u know it. No disrespect. I don't have beef with anyone. I'm done. I feel the way I feel about friendship and loyally. I ain't never been fake. All I'm saying."
Is Kim right or is she reaching? Was this the right moment to revive not only her stale beef with Minaj but also revisit her own previously recanted statements about erasing Cole's social security number (along with Nicki's)?
Kim supporters feel that she's in the right, that the favors she did for the rising R&B singer when she was still solidifying her space on the music scene warrant some type of allegiance. If a rap legend overextends her helping hand to a newbie, should the recipient show thanks by taking sides or at the very least not consort with the enemy? Or is this unrealistic?
After all, we all know that music is a business and not everyone who jumps on a track together is doing it for the love. Any business savvy artist knows that it's important to team up with the right people for singles in order to leverage the buzz of that other person in their favor. For Cole in 2007, it was Lil Kim who was in the spotlight having just been released from prison, for her latest single "I Ain't Thru" it was Nicki Minaj who turned almost every track she rapped on into a hit. In Cole's eyes neither collaboration was about friendship but about business, something Lil Kim seems to have confused.
Who's wrong, who's right?
(Photo from left: Landov, Scott Gries/PictureGroup)