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It seemed at one point it was all love between female rap emcees Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj. Although it was clear Minaj was following in Lil’ Kim footsteps with the often overt fashion reverences to the Queen Bee, the two were pictured together and it appeared there was no problem. These days real beef is hard to discern. Lil’ Kim performed at the Filmore in New York last evening with a cameo from Ray J and Brandy. Necole Bitchie reports Ray-J made an indirect reference to Minaj stating, “It’s a lot of people biting her style…I ain’t saying no names, but you know who…” Lil’ Kim follows saying, “We love her! (speaking about Minaj) We just want them to pay homage, so we could all rock together. It’s all about respect. You respect me, I respect you. If you don’t respect me then f*ck you.” Ouch!

Does Lil’ Kim have a point? Does Nicki Minaj owe Lil’ Kim? Is newcomer’s appropriation of industry veteran’s style really disrespectful? Or could the borrowing of vocal technique and style be a homage within itself? A vocal Grace Jones certainly didn’t think so. Lil’ Kim hasn’t had a hit song in five years since ‘Lighter’s up.’ Meanwhile Minaj is a new hip hop phenomenon with collaborations with some the industry’s hottest stars and a highly anticipated album. Not to mention its rumored Diddy is her new manager.

Is Lil’ Kim’s argument fair? Or is the Queen Bee taking shots at Minaj for publicity?

You be the judge!

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