Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Feud Explained

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Cardi B and Nicki Minaj Feud Explained

Cardi B and Nicki Minaj were involved in a . Cardi B was escorted from the event by security, and photos show a lump on her forehead that she reportedly sustained by being elbowed by a security guard. TMZ posted video of the altercation in which Cardi B can be seen throwing her shoe at Minaj.

The fight marks the escalation of a feud that’s played out in song lyrics and social media posts. But at root of their rivalry is more than just interpersonal animus—driving their feud is the misplaced idea that rap only has room for one female star at a time.

Though for a brief, shining moment we did have the likes of Missy Elliot, Eve, Foxy Brown, and Lil’ Kim all producing hits at around the the same time, since the early 2000s there’s been a pattern of one undisputed queen of hip-hop passing the torch to another. And despite the great efforts of those legends and other female MCs, it’s clear that women rappers have struggled to get the attention they deserve. In July, Cardi B became the first female rapper to have a two Billboard number one hits. Not two consecutive number ones—two chart toppers in the entire course of her career. She’s one of just five female MCs to hit the top of the charts, alongside Lil’ Kim, Lauryn Hill, Iggy Azealea, and Shawnna. Not even Minaj herself has yet scored a number one.

Given the uphill battle all female rappers face, it’s unsurprising that a pattern of feuding between upstarts and the reigning queen has emerged. Early in her career, Minaj beefed with Lil’ Kim, who accused Minaj of copying her. (On a 2010 diss track, Kim claimed that she was so much Minaj’s artistic mother that she should claim the younger star on her income taxes.) Now, with Minaj’s latest release underperforming while Cardi B’s star does nothing but rise, the tables have turned.

Cardi B posted a statement to Instagram about the Friday altercation, accusing Minaj of bringing Cardi’s infant daughter Kulture into their rivalry.

Even though their rivalry has escalated, both Minaj and Cardi have acknowledged that their feud has been egged on by third parties who think the rap world isn’t big enough for the both of them. When rumors of their rivalry swirled in the wake of their appearances on Migos’ “Motorsport,” Cardi joked that even if the two artists were photographed “making out,” people would still assume they were feuding. “These are men in our culture who simply refuse to let it go,” wrote Minaj in a now-deleted tweet. “They don’t do this to male M.C.’s”

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