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Salacious story behind Cardi B and Nicki Minaj’s feud

Monday - 01/10/2018 00:43
RIVAL rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj came to blows at New York Fashion Week in a wild skirmish that involved hair-pulling and shoe throwing.
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Cardi B attends the Warner Music Group pre-Grammy party in New York. Rap has easily dominated the pop charts and on streaming services in the last few years. Picture: Evan AgostiniSource:AP

CARDI B is a bootstrapping stripper turned millionaire record breaking rapper.

Raised in the Bronx, in New York, she’s achieved a lot in the last eighteen months. She married a hip hop star, had a baby and broken new territory, becoming the first female rapper to have three number 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

But not everyone is a fan. Cardi B and Nicki Minaj are verifiably going at it as the rival rappers came to blows at New York Fashion Week in a wild skirmish that involved hair-pulling and shoe throwing.

Related: Cardi B, Nicki Minaj get into ‘major scuffle’ at fashion week party

Related: Nicki Minaj breaks silence over Cardi B fight

Related: Why rivalry between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B was bound to get ugly

Cardi B rolled in with her entourage in a geranium red Dolce and Gabbana gown, with a slew of heavy heavy gold rosaries (as it was worn on the runway). Cardi arrived and posed for photographers and did some flossy red carpet interviews, before storming inside and seeking out Nicki Minaj.

In a fairly alarming video posted by TMZ, you can see the brawl, where Cardi lunges at Nicki. She screams, “B*tch come here! B*tch come here!” over and over, her limbs flailing over a group of people standing between the two rappers.

Christina Aguilera had just begun performing. Other reports say Cardi was trying to approach Nicki to talk and her security guard swiftly elbowed Cardi in the face (possibly corroborated by the huge welt that can be seen on Cardi’s forehead in paparazzi photos as she is escorted out).

A melee ensues while a bunch of people in couture and fine suits run into the scene and try to break up the fight. Cardi is restrained momentarily while she continues swearing, and Nicki is pushed up against a wall and surrounded by her guards and her entourage, yelling the odd expletive at Cardi’s camp. Then suddenly Cardi throws a shoe at Nicki.

“I will f**k you up!” she can be heard screaming.

Cardi was swiftly escorted out of the event by staff, who were reported to be mortified by the fight. They say the event took months of planning, was meant to be the most “exclusive and glamorous party” of the week and was completely overshadowed by the brouhaha.

Police arrived on the scene but no charges were laid. Cardi was photographed leaving the party with a visible bump on her eyebrow. She addressed the fight on Instagram, saying, “I’ve let a lot of s**t slide! I let you sneak diss me, I let you lie on me, I let you attempt to stop my bags, f**k up the way I eat! You’ve threaten (sic) other artists in the industry, told them if they work with me you’ll stop f**kin with them!!”

Nicki Minaj, left, and Cardi B at the Harper's BAZAAR "ICONS by Carine Roitfeld" party at The Plaza in New York on Sept. 7, 2018. Picture: Charles Sykes
Nicki Minaj, left, and Cardi B at the Harper's BAZAAR "ICONS by Carine Roitfeld" party at The Plaza in New York on Sept. 7, 2018. Picture: Charles SykesSource:AP
Cardi B, with a bump on her forehead after her fight with Nicki Minaj. Picture: Charles Sykes
Cardi B, with a bump on her forehead after her fight with Nicki Minaj. Picture: Charles SykesSource:AP

Why are Cardi and Nicki feuding? A background

Nicki and Cardi used to play nice. When Cardi’s monumental debut single Bodak Yellow went to number one in the US, making her the second female rapper to top the Billboard charts, Nicki sent her a sweet tweet to congratulate her, and Cardi responded saying, “This means sooo much coming from you!!”

In December 2017, the pair collaborated on Migos’s track Motorsport, seemingly solidifying the pair as friends. Early into her fame, Cardi downplayed rivalries between female rappers, saying ravenous fans were hungry for drama between famous women.

“It’s not even the female rappers that are catty, it’s the fans. They just want that beef.”
 

But in the video for the track, it’s obvious the pair didn’t shoot on the same day. Nicki shared an explanation, citing conflicting hairstylist availabilities, but Cardi had already given a candid interview about Nicki’s verse not being ‘finished’ and Quavo offering for her to “jump on it. So I jumped on it.”

Cardi, who always answers every question she is asked in interviews, and baulks at nothing, offers the explanation that she was starting out, and it was a big opportunity for her. Two days after the interview dropped, Minaj tweeted: “The corniest thing you can be is ungrateful. Give thanks.”

Minaj reflected on the interview on her own radio chat in April this year, expressing regret for supporting her.

“I really fully supported her and up until this recent interview I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview. I can just imagine how many girls wish they could of been on a song with (me). I’m not saying it in a cocky way.”

But six months after their collaboration on Migos’ track, Nicki took shots at Cardi’s boyfriend (now husband), Offset, in her rap on Katy Perry’s diss track Swish Swish(a two for one, as it was also a diss track Katy directed at Taylor Swift): “My life is a movie, I’m never off set / Me and my amigos (no, not Offset).”

Cardi B also accused Nicki of preventing other rappers from working with her, and at the start of the week this was corroborated by Jason Lee on his radio show Hollywood Unlocks. He claims to have the original recording of Cardi B’s song Drip, which featured rapper Future, who is now on tour with Nicki.

He says, “The industry is so f*cked up!,” going on to claim that Nicki threatened taking Future off the tour if he didn’t remove himself from the project with Cardi.

The track Drip is now guested by Migos, the rap group that includes her husband. You can listen to what is apparently the original track here, as it recently resurfaced.

Nicki has a longer history of feuding with other rappers

Lil Kim and Nicki have a long running feud that dates back to 2007, circling around Kim accusing Nicki of various things including stealing her look (pastel wigs, fluorescent lingerie on red carpets) and her sound.

“All I ask for is respect, and I show the same respect back,” said Lil Kim in 2010.

“Pay homage, at the end of the day a lot of things go on behind the scenes that people don’t know about. It will be aired out, because you can’t hide the truth.”

Acknowledging their similarities, Minaj said she was opening doors for Kim in the twilight years of her career.

“When you see Gaga, you see Madonna — but Madonna never hated on Gaga,” said Nicki.

“Why in the black community we gotta hate on each other instead of saying, ‘Thank you for showing me love, thank you for keeping my name alive?’

“The same way she opened doors for me, I’m opening doors for her. Nobody was playing your music and you damn sure couldn’t get an interview to save your life.”

Cardi B attends Billboard's second annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players event in New York. Picture: Scott Roth
Cardi B attends Billboard's second annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players event in New York. Picture: Scott RothSource:AP

At the start of this week, hip hop artist Tiffany Foxx also accused Minaj of sabotaging her professionally at different points in her career, saying Minaj played a game of public support and private subterfuge.

“She does just enough so it’ll make it like she supports somebody... I’m not saying this just because the masses is saying this,” she told T’s Madison in an interview.

“Nicki has definitely interrupted me being on red carpets. Times I’m supposed to be nominated — out of nowhere, it’s a problem. And it gets back to me that it’s affiliated with her.”

Who is Cardi B?

 

Cardi B was born in the Bronx to a Trinidadian mother and Dominican father. She describes her parents as “real good people,” but said she was raised in “a bad society”.

She has claimed to have joined a gang at age 16, saying she’s been a ‘big time Blood’. She worked at a supermarket as a teenager and moved in with a boyfriend, in a cramped apartment. She has spoken candidly about how the relationship quickly became emotionally and physically abusive.

“I was poor as hell. I was living with my ex-boyfriend that was beating my arse. I had to drop out of school. I was like, um, living with his mama, two pitbulls in a bedroom. It was crazy.”

Cardi B before her big bust up with Nicki Minaj. Picture: Dominik Bindl
Cardi B before her big bust up with Nicki Minaj. Picture: Dominik BindlSource:Getty Images

She was fired from her supermarket job and her ex boss suggested she become a dancer, a career move she credits with liberating her from being financially dependent on an abusive partner.

“(I got out by) stripping. Getting my own money and leaving. How was I going to leave making $200 a week? There ain’t no way.”

While Cardi B worked as a stripper, she negotiated her own kind of fame via Instagram and Vine, where a brood of followers hung off her rapid clip advice on things like “sucking d**k” and scamming money from men in strip clubs.

It’s not hard to imagine why her friends encouraged her to take rapping seriously. She used to make up raps over the top of pop songs, like Beyonce tracks, with filthy lyrics. The gag was good enough to catch the attention of Klenord Raphael (who you probably know by his stage name, Shaft) who encouraged her to pursue rapping seriously, becoming her manager.

Shaft was formerly the manager of nineties female rap superstar Lil Kim, and recalls telling Cardi, “TV don’t make you rich… You gotta sell something! Waist trainers, hair, something.”

Shaft is no longer Cardi’s manager and they are engaged in a heated legal stoush over a large percentage of her earnings.

Offset and Cardi B. Picture: Theo Wargo
Offset and Cardi B. Picture: Theo WargoSource:Getty Images

A quick look at any of Cardi’s interviews will tell you she is a star. Her ability to “smash and

grab”, as it’s called in reality TV (the ability to come up with an hilarious soundbite off the top of one’s head) is second to none. Her Instagram is relentless with her frenetic hot takes on everything.

As her fame grew online, she was cast on the sixth and seventh season of VH1’s reality show Love and Hip Hop. She has a deeply unusual accent and buttery sweet giggle. She skrrrrs and whirrs through her sentences with ease, intertwining anecdotes about her body parts with sing-songy made up words like a foul mouthed budgerigar.

Where do the Queen and Princess of hip hop stand now?

Cardi B’s first single, Stripper Ho, was inspired by other female rappers, who she said she studied while she was coming up.

“Study how to do something different from them. You know all these female rappers, they talking about they money, they talking about they cars, so it’s like, what’s something that I enjoy? I enjoy fights!”

At first Nicki ignored the fight, only posting photos of herself at the party laying in eyes closed rapture over a convertible in her couture. When she did address the fight directly, her response was brutal.

Seemingly by way of explanation, she played a recording of Cardi in an interview with the Fader, where Cardi spoke about dealing with trolls, “Oh Cardi, why you coming at people’s kids for? But I’m my mother’s kid!” Cardi had said, exasperated, flitting in and out of a jokey, almost Humphrey Bogart voice.

“You’re making my mother cry, so I’m gonna make you cry. Don’t play me!”

Rapper Cardi B attends the BET Hip Hop Awards in Miami Beach, Florida. Picture: Paras Griffin
Rapper Cardi B attends the BET Hip Hop Awards in Miami Beach, Florida. Picture: Paras GriffinSource:Getty Images

After playing the recording Nicki goes on to say Cardi knew she would “look stupid,” attacking her in public. Despite playing the recording of Cardi saying “nothing’s off limits,” Nicki claimed, “I would never talk about anyone’s child or anyone’s parenting.”

She talked about her money being “very long,” and her friend, rapper 6ix9ine, made reference to how someone who has been, “in the game ten years plus” can’t be compared to a newcomer (seemingly taking shots at Cardi, whose rap career is undoubtedly young, despite it being record breaking. Cardi released her debut album this year).

During the radio show, which went for over an hour, Nicki made a number of claims about Cardi, including that she had paid to have strippers beaten up in retaliation to them sleeping with her husband, that she was racist and that she had postpartum depression.

But Cardi remains on the come up. She is currently doing the rounds at Paris Fashion Week, adorned in a series of peacock themed dresses and pantsuits. When it comes to being sensitive, Cardi knows who she is.

She told the Fader she would never grow a thick skin.

“No. I just gotta focus on making money. Cause ain’t no going back. I’m gonna be famous forever.”

— Phoebe Loomes is a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @dollyybird

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