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In January 2024, music fans rejoiced after watching two of the biggest names in female rap battle against one another — lyrically. The battle between Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj seemingly isn’t ending anytime soon. Megan threw some serious shade at Nicki family, including her husband, Kenneth Petty.
Megan’s song, “Hiss,” released on Jan. 26, 2024, included Megan rapping, “These h--- don't be mad at Megan, these h--- mad at Megan's Law,” among other pithy lyrics. The “Megan’s Law” bar was so insulting that Nicki had to go into the studio and craft an even shadier rebuttal.
So, what does Megan’s Law mean? Here’s what to know!
What does Megan’s Law mean? The late Megan Kanka's family were offended by the "Hiss" lyric.
For those who initially listened to “Hiss,” Megan mentioning Megan’s Law went over some of their heads. However, the meaning behind the lyric explains why Nicki was so quick to clap back.
Megan’s Law is a law that requires registered sex offenders to release their information for public records. According to its website, the law went into effect after the horrific death of a 7-year-old girl New Jersey girl named Megan Kanka. In 1994, Megan was raped and killed by her neighbor, Jesse Timmendequas. Before he moved to Megan’s street, he had already had two prior convictions of sex crimes against small children.
Upon her death, Megan’s parents, Richard and Maureen Kanka, worked to change the previous Jacob Wetterling Act to create an act that helped prevent another tragedy like Megan’s. Jacob, a young boy living in Minnesota, was abducted and killed in 1989. While the Wetterling Act also required sex offenders to register, the registries were only available to law enforcement officials and not the people who lived among the sex offenders. The Wetterling Act was less effective since only five states acknowledged it then.
However, following Megan’s death, her parents fought to amend the Jacob Weltering Act and turn it into Megan’s Law, which gave everyone, not just law enforcers, access to sex offenders’ information. In 1996, former President Bill Clinton made the act a federal in all 50 states. While Megan's Law went into effect long after Megan mentioned it on "Hiss," Megan Kanka's family wasn't pleased with the extra attention the law received on Jan. 26.
Days after the song's release, Megan Kanka's father, Richard, told TMZ he found Megan Thee Stallion's lyric about his daughter's law "disrespectful." He also reportedly said that while Megan Thee Stallion informed many people about the law, he refused to listen to the song and felt her involving his daughter in the rap diss in a "graphic" way was "highly disrespectful."
Richard also shared with TMZ that he and his family were so distraught over Megan Thee Stallion's song that they are exploring legal options against the rapper and her team, as they believe she went too far with the mention.
Megan’s Law affects Nicki Minaj’s husband and brother.
While Megan didn’t mention Nicki nor anyone in the “Anaconda” rapper’s family, her fans clocked Megan’s context clues. Megan’s Law affects two men in Nicki’s life — her husband, Kenneth Petty, and her brother, Jelani Maraj.
In February 2020, months after Nicki married Kenneth, her high school sweetheart was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in Los Angeles, Calif., after moving there from New York, per E! News.
Kenneth obtained his sex offender registration after serving four years in prison in New York for attempting to rape a neighborhood friend, Jennifer Hough. Before his arrest, Nicki’s fans had already discovered his criminal past, and the backlash forced Nicki to defend her husband on social media.
"He was 15, she was 16. In a relationship," Nicki said in 2018. "But go awf Internet. Y'all can't run my life. Y'all can't even run y'all own life. Thank you, boo."
Jennifer refuted Nicki’s post in a 2021 appearance on The Real. She stated she wasn’t in a relationship with Kenneth and that he raped her on her way to school. Jennifer also filed a civil suit against Nicki and Kenneth for harassment, which she later dropped in 2022.
Nicki’s husband was eventually registered as a sex offender in L.A. The news surrounding his past broke just a few years after Nicki’s brother, Jelani, was arrested in 2017 for “predatory sexual assault” after reportedly “repeatedly raping” his 11-year-old stepdaughter, per Revolt. In January 2020, Jelani was found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
On Jan. 28, 2024, Nicki released a diss track geared towards Megan called "Big Foot." In the song, she took several digs at Megan's personal life, including the "Cobra" rapper's July 2020 shooting at the hands of Tory Lanez, allegations about her sexual partners, and that she lied on her late mother, Holly Thomas. "Big Foot" had mixed reviews, though Megan has not addressed it publicly.