One of the demoralizing realities of adulthood: Congratulatory presents, particularly those proffered on occasions like engagements, weddings, and births, can be both a celebration of life milestones and a field for power plays. And—while it’s hopefully all just some kind of misunderstanding—something like that appears to be going down between very public frenemies Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, who haven’t always been on the best of terms, but have made a point of being photographed together to prove they’re totally cool.
The current occasion is, of course, the arrival of baby Kulture, Cardi’s newborn daughter with husband Offset of Migos. The alleged present is a $5,000 baby gift basket Minaj may or may not have purchased from tony West Hollywood baby boutique Petit Trésor. On Wednesday (July 11), a report from TMZ alums-turned-competitors at the Blast, citing sources at Petit Trésor, detailed the swag contained in said $5,000 gift basket: “luxury seasonal clothes, an assortment of dolls and stuffed animals and, of course, a sterling silver rattle.” All was well between the two of the most famous women in hip-hop—or so it seemed. The next day, gossip outlet Hollywood Unlocked said it received an Instagram DM from Cardi denying the $5,000 gift story: “Not true.”
Her denial touched off a new round of investigation, highlighting the many angles of a story that’s as much about rival online gossip publications as it is about rival rappers. Hollywood Unlocked claimed Petit Trésor confirmed no such gift basket was ever purchased. TMZ—perhaps sensing an opportunity to debunk the Blast’s exclusive—stepped in to take it farther, reporting that Cardi’s own team had called the store seeking a tracking number for the delivery, since Cardi is apparently inundated with baby presents, only to be told that Minaj hadn’t shopped there. Neither Minaj nor Cardi have made any official public statement on the situation, and their reps haven’t responded to a request for comment.
Someone—and if not Minaj or Cardi, then perhaps a third party seeking to embarrass them—has clearly violated the spirit of extravagant newborn gifts. Predictably enough, the whole petty saga is a boon to TMZ, which both relishes the chance to wrench a loose story into its control and appears to be fully sourced up on all things Cardi: As you’ll recall, it was they who first reported both her then-unannounced pregnancy and her private marriage to Offset. There are no true winners in gossip cold war, but there’s still enough juice to turn one allegedly undelivered silver baby rattle into a three-day news cycle.