The Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion feud, explained

Megan Thee Stallion-Nicki Minaj split photo

Megan Thee Stallion released her biting song “Hiss” on Friday - a punchy diss track that takes aim at the haters and critics she’s encountered throughout her career.

She mentioned Mariah Carey and Kris Jenner in jest on the track, while appearing to make pointed references to Drake and her ex-boyfriend, Tory Lanez. But her words stung for Nicki Minaj.

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“Hiss” has climbed high up on streaming charts since Friday, Jan. 26, with more than 5 million plays on Spotify, made waves throughout the rap community and ignited a social media firestorm with fans of Minaj, who claim Megan directly insulted her on the track.

Minaj, who released her new album, “Pink Friday 2,” nearly two months ago, has been one of the most vocal critics of Megan’s song, going as far as to record her own response diss track called “Big Foot,” which has similarly climbed the streaming charts since it dropped Monday.

Minaj has threatened to release more songs that aim to damage Megan’s career unless she apologizes for what she said on “Hiss.”

Here’s what we know so far about the feud.

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What is ‘Hiss’ about?

Megan doesn’t waste anytime ruffling feathers on “Hiss.” On Friday, she called into “The Breakfast Club” and said “Hiss” is about anyone who uses her name to get attention online.

“When a snake feel like you’ve been playing and like doing a whole bunch of swaying, it’s basically telling you to back off. I hear you, I see you, get up off me now,” she said. “Basically, that’s what it means.”

“I’m saying, a hit dog gon’ holler. That’s it. Whoever feel it, feel it,” she added.

Megan Thee Stallion addresses a number of challenges she has faced while working in the industry. She also referenced what critics said about her former relationship with rapper Tory Lanez.

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Does Megan Thee Stallion reference Nicki Minaj?

Though no names were mentioned in this song, a number of “Hiss” lyrics appear to reference Minaj, too. One line, fans say, seems pointed at Minaj’s family: “These h--s don’t be mad at Megan, these h--s mad at Megan’s Law.”

“Megan’s Law” could be a reference to a federal law that requires police to share information with the public about convicted and registered sex offenders. It was named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old who was raped and killed in 1994 by their neighbor, a convicted child molester. In the wake of Megan Kanka’s death, her family campaigned for a law that would require police to tell communities about sex offenders, noting that they would not have let their daughter cross the street if they had known about their neighbor’s past.

It appears Minaj, and many on social media, believed the diss to be directed at Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty - a registered sex offender who served four years in prison after he was convicted of attempted rape in 1995 and was put on probation in 2022 for failing to register as a sex offender in California.

Another line - “I can never be judged by a b---h that was dancin', makin’ R. Kelly go viral” - might be a reference to Minaj, too, since she released a song in 2018 called “Up in Flames,” where she cheekily mentioned R. Kelly with the line, “Even R. Kelly couldn’t touch the kid.”

Representatives for Megan Thee Stallion did not respond to a request for comment about the lyrics and if she was directly referencing Minaj and Petty.

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Nicki Minaj responds with ‘Big Foot’ diss songs

With the internet swirling with theories about Megan’s lyrics, Minaj took to X (formerly Twitter) to voice her displeasure with the song and announce her follow-up “Big Foot,” which she released on Monday.

The title appeared to be a reference to Megan’s 5-foot-10 height and the fact that she was shot in the foot by Lanez.

In the song (which was released with an a cappella version on streaming), Minaj claims Megan lied about the shooting incident with Lanez while referencing the death of Megan’s mother, saying: “Swearin’ on your dead mother when you lie” and “F--- you get shot with no scar?”

Minaj also accuses Megan of sleeping with her best friend’s partner and having ghostwriters. She claims Megan lied during her 2022 interview with anchor CBS’s Gayle King. In that interview, Megan said she was worried for her life during the incident with Lanez.

“I never put my hands on anybody,” Megan told King. “I never raised my voice too loud. This was one of them times where it shouldn’t have gotten this crazy.”

King later wrote for Oprah’s website that she believed Megan’s account on the night and she stood by the music artist.

“I’m so fascinated that people still don’t think that she’s telling the truth. How can that be?” King wrote. “You’ve heard all the rumors; please listen to what she has to say and then ask yourself, What does she gain by lying?”

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Has Megan responded to Nicki Minaj’s diss track?

Megan has yet to respond directly to “Big Foot,” though she posted a photo on her Instagram Story on Friday of herself laughing after Minaj shared a snippet of the song before it was released.

Representatives for Minaj did not respond to a request for comment.

Minaj says on X that she has five songs ready to release if Megan so much as “breathes” wrong. Minaj is also seeking an apology from Megan for her comments on “Hiss.”

“I don’t think you want the next installment of this song,” she says on “Big Foot.”

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