Shether?: Defamation and Rap Beefs

Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma just had the hottest rap battles in hip-hop history. The two women laid all of their rap skills out on the table and the streets loved it!

There was a great deal of conversation surrounding what was true and what was untrue, and it made me think about the possibility of a defamation suit by either of the rappers. Now to be clear, it probably wouldn’t happen. Ever. If someone starts a rap battle with you, you don’t sue them for defamation.

In layman’s terms, defamation is the act of ruining someone’s character or reputation through lies. The “lie” has to be a statement of fact and not opinion and it must be a statement that an ordinary person would find damaging to their reputation. Famous people, for the most part, have a harder time proving defamation because they are public figures.

Remy Ma started the rap beef, releasing her song Shether, which is a sample of Nas’s famous dis track Ether. Creative right? Rumors of the two rappers beefing had been circulating for a few months, and Remy Ma confirmed it with the release of the song. Nicki Minaj responded with a few “dis tracks” of her own, but they weren’t even close. Honestly. Truly. So let’s focus on what Remy said that might have opened up the door for an argument for defamation.

  1. Shether accused Nicki Minaj of supporting a pedophile
  2. Shether made accusations about Nicki’s sexual relationship with Meek Mill
  3. Shether made accusations about Nicki’s business relationship with her record label Cash Money
  4. Shether accused Nicki of having a sexual relationship with several other rappers and music executives

The song is about 7 minutes long of pure bars! There’s no chorus, hook, or anything separating the lyrics to give Remy Ma a break from rapping. It’s pure rap genius, but other than the informal rules of rap music, what’s stopping Nicki Minaj from suing Remy Ma for defamation?

 

Photo via: Unsplash

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