If you hate hot pink, look away now. Nicki Minaj is back spitting bars, and I for one am stoked. She’s got two new tracks, ‘Chun-Li’ and ‘Barbie Tingz’, and a leather dominatrix get up, obvs. Once again I am reminded that I will probably spend the rest of my time on earth and a good portion of the afterlife trying to be even 5% as cool as her.
Few things could dent Nicki in my estimation, except for one thing – her interview on Beats1 where she talks about the supposed drama with Cardi B over ‘MotorSport’, the pair’s joint track with Migos.
Some background details in case you need them: Cardi B is engaged to Offset, a member of Migos. Cardi B and Nicki Minaj are both rappers with vaginas, so naturally the music industry has taken it upon itself to stir up rumours that the pair are bitter rivals, even though they have both repeatedly denied this. Nicki congratulated Cardi when she became the first solo female rapper to hit Number One in the US for almost 20 years. Cardi was suitably gushy over Nicki, and said: “This means sooo much coming from you!!” Sounds good, right? And in case anyone needed a reminder, it is perfectly fine for two women to rap and be successful, and like each other, or not like each other. They’re busy – who cares?
So when it was announced that Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and Migos would be getting together for a joint track, everyone thought, “Great collab, great track, let’s put the shit to bed now, yeah?” But no, the conspiracy theories spread that they were actually making sly disses at each other, and Cardi started getting asked about Nicki Minaj in interviews. She said she hadn’t really heard Nicki’s final verse until it came out, and signed up for the track because she thought it was a “perfect opportunity” to work with some big artists when she was new to the game. She wasn’t grinning, and it was a little awkward, but maybe that’s because Cardi was more interested in talking about her own career than whether or not she was cool with an artist she admired and recorded with. Is it really necessary to ask, guys?
When she got asked again, Cardi assured the public there was no beef, but said nothing, not even a photo of the pair making out, would shut down the rumours.
Cardi B speaks on those Nicki Minaj rumors?
— Complex (@Complex) October 31, 2017
Minaj agreed, and called the conspiracy theories “tired.”
PHEW. So now that’s over, let’s talk about the Beats1 interview. In a slight change of mood, Nicki said that when ‘MotorSport’ was released, and Cardi gave that slightly awkward interview, she was pissed off Cardi and Quavo didn’t then defend her from the new rumour that Nicki had lied about how the track came about.
“I kind of felt ambushed,” said Nicki. “All of them allowed me to look like I lied.”
She added: “Y’all still jumped around that just to paint Nicki as the bad person so that you could play the victim. That really, really hurt me.
“I really, fully supported her and up until this recent interview she did, I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview and I can imagine how many girls wish they could’ve been on a song with Nicki Minaj.”
I’m sorry Nicki, but Cardi B doesn’t owe you shit. She is not required to shower you in praise at every opportunity. She’s consistently shot down beef rumours and expressed her respect for you. Cardi’s built a platform around putting Cardi first, so she shouldn’t have to apologise for trying to change the subject or looking pissed off whenever your name is raised because of a stupid fake drama between you stirred by fans and the media.
When Cardi B dropped her first mixtape, she did it with virtually no features. When she hit number one with ‘Bodak Yellow’, it was as the first solo female rapper since Lauryn Hill. That’s significant, and what Cardi should rightly hold onto. She wasn’t ‘discovered’ as someone else’s contributor, or as Nicki’s protégé. Nicki even points out that it was Quavo’s idea to bring Cardi onto the track, neither woman requested it, so no, Cardi does not need to be dripping in gratitude for Nicki’s collab for the rest of her career.
If you’re really mad about people playing the victim Nicki, rise above the drama and avoid the subject. It’s completely legitimate to be upset, but responding in this way will only give the beef-mongers what they crave – more headlines about sexist fake drama. As you’ve agreed in the past, if even a snog selfie won’t stop the crap, don’t season it with tears. Misogynists who only want to see women fight will always look for a distraction from your talents – don’t give it to them.
Cardi put it best in the Beats1 interview above: “I don’t really have the time for [beef], if you ain’t fucking my man or taking my money from me, I don’t really give a fuck about you… What is it you expect me to do or say? I already said she’s an amazing artist, I already paid my respects to her, I did videos before jamming to her songs. What do you expect?”