Hip hop power couples are adorable. They share a love for the art form and the culture in a way that can only be compared to that of Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs in Brown Sugar. But more often than not, hip hop power couples don't last. Competition, typical issues in love, groupies, anything and everything can interfere in the love that is found by mutual mic grippers. You think this is a game? Remember KRS-One and Ms. Melodie? That love affair ended (R.I.P. to Melodie). Pepa and Treach had a decent run, but their divorce left them with tattooed rings on their fingers. The odds are not in favor of rappers in love, and we're witnessing that right now with Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj.
To shed some light on the situation, if you haven't been anywhere near the Internet in over a week, Meek Mill was allegedly mad at Drake for not tweeting out his latest album Dreams Worth More Than Money. In response, he accused Drake of having a ghostwriter named Quentin Miller. Drake, infuriated, released the tepid track "Charged Up" followed by his boiling point cut "Back to Back," where he really went in and threw his labelmate Nicki Minaj’s name into the mix with the most furious collection of words attacking a man's ego:
You love her, then you gotta give the world to her / Is that a world tour or your girl's tour? / I know that you gotta be a thug for her / This ain't what she meant when she told you to open up more
This was obviously in response to Nicki bringing her man as the opening act on The Pinkprint Tour. After days and days of air pie from Meek Mill, he returned with the baby lotion, Egyptian cotton, cashmere sweater soft track "Wanna Know." He threw some Quentin Miller reference track snippets in there for good measure, but the scales tipped in Drake's favor still. Then, as Drake delivered his annual OVO Fest to Toronto, he tempered his stance by performing his diss tracks live, amidst a screen full of memes attacking Meek Mill, including Photoshopped pics of Meek and Nicki with their gender roles reversed. He did all of this while wearing a "Free Meek Mill" T-shirt. “Ouch” is not even a word suitable to describe the sensation Meek must've been feeling below the belt that night.
To add to that, Drake gingerly teased a snippet for a third diss track as Meek got his teeth whitened on Instagram and captioned it with a hint that he too would be returning. Cool. Boys will be boys, fighting for the longest stream of pee in an alley. But where does this leave Nicki?
The rumor mill has started churning out that Nicki dumped Meek over his weak response to Drake and that they're agreeing to remain civil for the duration of their tour. Is this true? Who really knows? But it begs the question: Should Nicki Minaj dump Meek Mill over this situation?
First, let's be honest here. Meek tried it by attacking a fellow crew member of Nicki's, as she and Drake are both affiliated with the barely breathing Young Money. Before this Omeeka relationship even happened, Drake and Nicki were incredibly close, another rumored point of contention for Meek. Everyone knew the situation though. Drake crushed on Nicki pretty badly, feeling like she was the prototype, while Nicki saw him as that annoying next-door neighbor she would casually rub her butt on. Harmless. But now the stakes have been raised. Drake roped Nicki into this, even possibly going against her trust at the suggestion of the aforementioned lyric where he claims Nicki wanted Meek to open up more (he opted for opening act instead, but alas). There is no word if their friendship is caput, but it very well could be after all of that.
Still, let’s bring this back to Nicki. Would she ever come for Wale or Rick Ross or any other member of MMG? Probably not. Yet Meek came for someone on her team. That’s a little tacky, even in the midst of chest puffing bravado. But it speaks to the idea that two men are always allowed to bring the fisticuffs, even if the leading lady is the casualty.
Next, how invested is Nicki in this relationship anyway? That millisecond engagement could be for the cameras or perhaps she was rebounding post-Safaree. Who knows? But let’s be brutally honest here, does Nicki really need to carry yet another rapper boyfriend’s career on her back? Because if Meek doesn’t overdeliver this next round, he’s as good as done in the game. What does that say? Is that even a power couple at that point or merely a rerun of the relationship she just left? The 6 God held no punches in defense of Barbs, and we can argue that maybe Meek did for that very reason. But this is hip hop, and when the universal opinion is that Meek isn’t even the most talented rapper in his relationship, it could crack even the most solid of foundations.
Nicki has maintained a flip-floppy stance on rap in general though. Sometimes she’s here for the lyricism, other times she’s here for the stardom. It’s understandable, especially when you’re one of the most powerful figures in hip hop regardless of gender. So does having a purveyor of subpar bars on your arm damage your own brand? Does it matter as long as she’s happy and in love? This is a classic case of “What means the world to you?”
So what is it, Nicki?
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(Photo: Atlantic Records)