“I just want to kick this s—t off by saying, F—K Y’ALL. I ain’t gotta clear my name on a motherf—king thing.”
Houston native and Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion has a lot to say on her new single “HISS,” starting with a blistering cold open: “I’m finna get this s—t off my chest and lay it to rest,” she declares. And she does: in a scathing three-minute track, Megan takes aim at her haters, rivals and some lustful male fans. “I feel like Mariah Carey, got these n—gas so obsessed/My p—sy so famous, might be managed by Kris Jenner next,” she raps. “He can’t move on, can’t let it go/He hooked, nose full of that Tina Snow.”
It sounds like a mere cocaine reference, but Meg is evoking hip-hop history. Tina Snow is her rap alter ego, inspired by rapper Pimp C’s alter ego Tony Snow. (Pimp C, born Chad Butler in 1973, was a rapper and record producer. Hailing from Port Arthur — a town roughly 90 minutes from Houston — he’s perhaps most famous for his work with fellow Port Arthur native, rapper Bun B, as part of the the group UGK. Together they became one of hip-hop’s most iconic duos, recording critically acclaimed albums as well as hit collaborations with the group Three 6 Mafia and rapper Jay-Z. The Texas Standard credited them, along with DJ Screw, and the Geto Boys with “putting Houston on the national hip-hop map.”) Megan is on record citing the late Pimp C as one of her favorite rappers.
But Megan doesn’t stop there. She throws heavy jabs at other rappers, including the self-proclaimed “Queen of Rap,” in her verses. “These hoes don’t be mad at Megan; these hoes mad at Megan’s Law,” she raps. Megan’s Law is the name of a federal law that requires law enforcement to make public any relevant information about sex offenders in the community. It was enacted in response to the 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka by a neighbor who had been convicted of abusing children. The statute began as a state law in New Jersey; on a state level, it enquires sex offenders to register with law enforcement on a national database. Texas, like many other states, requires offenders to update authorities of their whereabouts and change of address, among other things.
Rapper Nicki Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in 1995 for assaulting Jennifer Hough back in 1994, when both were just 16. He became a registered sex offender after his conviction, for which he served four years in prison. Petty later went back to prison in 2006 after being convicted of first-degree manslaughter; he served nearly seven years before being released in 2013.In 2019, he moved from New York to California with Minaj ahead of their wedding that year. But he failed to report his change of address to the authorities. He pled guilty last year to a charge of failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to probation and a year on house arrest.
It’s worth noting that Jennifer Hough sued both Minaj and Petty for harassment in 2021; her complaint alleged that the two harassed her in hopes of getting her to recant her story, starting with a phone call where Minaj “stated that she would fly plaintiff and her family to Los Angeles. Plaintiff declined this offer,” Hough’s lawsuit states. A few days later, Minaj allegedly “instructed her associates” to contact Hough’s brother and offer $500,000 for a letter from Hough “recanting her rape claim,” the paperwork claims. Hough declined the offer. “Within days of this conversation, Plaintiff and her family suffered an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits,” according to the lawsuit. Minaj was later dropped from the lawsuit. Petty was not.
It’s not clear what set Megan off or what motivated her to include this legal reference in a song. What is clear is that Minaj (who was never mentioned by name in the song, by the way) took umbrage. A hit dog will always holler.
Minaj responded to the musical call-out by going to Instagram Live, sharing a snippet of a song titled “Bigfoot”: “Bad b—h, she like 6 foot/I call her Bigfoot,” she raps. “The b—h fell off/I said get up on your good foot.” She then mimicked Meg’s rap style before adding, “You have three Grammys and you have to learn how to rap on the beat and be comfortable in the music.” But that rap flow problem didn’t seem to bother Minaj when the two collaborated on “Hot Girl Summer” back in 2019.
It’s unclear what changed. Maybe it was Megan winning a Grammy (an accomplishment that’s been elusive for Minaj), or maybe it was collaborating with Minaj’s arch-nemesis Cardi B on the No. 1 single “WAP” back in 2020. Whatever the reason, Minaj went on a social media tear, calling out Meg in both subtweets and direct callouts. And she topped all of it with a vicious Instagram Live. “Bullet fragment foot b—h,” she seethed, referring to Megan’s 2020 shooting at the hands of rapper Tory Lanez. “You bringing up 30-year-old-tea from when this man was a 15-year-old person…child. You bringing up 30-year-old-tea because no man has ever and will never f–king love you.”
Minaj’s remarks drew widespread opprobrium, including from many who questioned why Minaj would treat credible rape accusations like mere gossip. “30-year-old tea’ in reference to rape is outrageous,” wrote @cinelliverse. “Nicki responding to people saying she’s married to a murdering rapist with ‘that’s 30-year-old tea’ should tell you everything you need to know about her,” said @WESTCOASTSUMA. Regardless of what side they took in this feud, most everyone seemed to agree that reducing sex crimes and harassment to water-cooler gossip was exactly the wrong move.
If you need to report a rape or sexual assault, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.