On Friday 26 January 2024, American rapper and hot girl coach Megan Thee Stallion released her latest track titled ‘HISS’. Now, there’s a lot of drama that happened after this drop, so let’s delve into everything you need to know. From the Tory Lanez mention to the Nicki Minaj fallout that followed, we’ve got you covered.
For anyone who hasn’t heard the song yet, let me assure you that the record clearly falls within the ‘diss track’ music category. Primarily due to various references to rappers such as Drake, Tory Lanez and Nicki Minaj—all of whom Stallion has publicly disagreed with or feuded with in the past.
First off, Megan Thee Stallion was infamously shot in the foot by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez in the Hollywood Hills in July 2020, after leaving a party at Kylie Jenner’s mansion. The legal charges that were subsequently pressed against Lanez polarised the rap community for years and led to a wave of misogynistic and racist backlash directed at Megan.
It was notably driven by other prominent rappers within the community, such as Drake, who insinuated that Megan lied about getting shot in his song ‘Circo Loco’. In December 2022, Lanez was convicted on all counts in relation to the attack on her.
Megan addressed the continued scrutiny she is subjected to due to the incident with the lines: “On the internet typin’ this sh*t to me? Write him a letter or somethin’” and and “Say, b*tch-ass n*gga, don’t type me nothin’ else, don’t write me nothin’ else, download JPay since y’all n*ggas got so much to say, or schedule a conjugal visit or somethin’, hahaha.”
While her less-than-favourable comments towards these two men were thus understandable, netizens were surprised by a couple of lines directed at the queen of rap herself, Nicki Minaj. This is where things started to really heat up.
The line in question was: “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law.” For most netizens, and Minaj herself, it didn’t take long to assume that this was in reference to Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty, who is a registered sex offender. But, what is Megan’s Law? And what exactly is Megan suggesting?
Megan’s Law is a federal law in the US that requires law enforcement to make information regarding registered sex offenders available to the public. It was named after Megan Nicole Kanka, a seven-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by her neighbour Jesse K Timmendequas. Unbeknown to the neighbourhood, Timmendequas had previously been convicted of child molestation.
Minaj’s husband Petty pleaded guilty to attempted rape in the first degree in April 1995 at the age of 16. The charge was for an assault that occurred in the previous year on a then-16-year-old girl, Jennifer Hough. Petty was sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison and is now listed as a level two registered sex offender in New York.
In July 2022, he was sentenced to a year of house arrest as well as a $55,000 fine for failing to register at his new address after moving to California with his wife.
It should be noted that the line made no explicit references to Minaj and could be directed at other rappers who are sex offenders or have defended them in the past. Nevertheless, that is not how the internet or Minaj interpreted it.
Following the release of ‘HISS’, Minaj went live on Instagram to address the line. “You let everyone be thrown under the bus. You let DaBaby be thrown under the bus, Tory, your best friend, your mom… You better go conjure up your mother and apologise. That’s disgusting,” the rapper said.
The singer also announced the release of her response song ‘Big Foot’ (I can see where this is headed), which became available on Sunday 28 January.
The song has been trending on YouTube since its release and features the line: “This little beggin’ whore talkin’ ’bout Megan’s Law, For a free beat, you can hit Megan raw.” Minaj also raps: “She just mad that no n*gga ever loved her, no n*gga gon’ stan ten toes behind her, Is it my fault I got good vaginer?” In other lines, Minaj also addressed Megan’s shooting scandal: “Kylie kicked you out and made you stumble to the car (…) Fuck you get shot with no scar? (Brrr).”
Netizens seemed less than enthusiastic about Minaj’s response, particularly as it seemed to carry more than just hints of misogyny. Fans of Megan later uncovered a slew of tweets Minaj had liked in the past few days that made fun of the Lanez shooting, implied that Megan lied about the incident, and made fun of her appearance.
Furthermore, Minaj seemed to like tweets that implied Jennifer Hough, Petty’s accuser, had lied about the assault.
This led to an onslaught of backlash against Minaj, so much so that other celebrities like Jeffree Star commented on the rap feud. Star, unlike many others, made his allegiance to Minaj clear:
The majority of comments about Minaj’s song implied that she had blown the issue out of proportion, considering that Megan never made an explicit reference to her, or her husband. Others also questioned the artistic merit of the song ‘Big Foot’, which contained what they deemed to be sloppy lyrics and an unoriginal melody.
Altogether, it seems like netizens have very little sympathy for Minaj’s attempt to villainise Megan by insinuating that she had lied about an assault after no clear attack had been made on her in the first place.