You can be forgiven for losing track of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B‘s beef. What started many months ago as just a rumor—why didn’t Nicki appear on camera with Cardi and Migos in the “MotorSport” video—has developed into multi-platform warfare featuring a range of allegations and secondary characters, plus shoe-chucking, bruise-inducing IRL conflict. Things grew even messier this week, which I will attempt to summarize briefly: Cardi’s sister claimed Nicki leaked the “I Like It” rapper’s phone number; Minaj denied the claim on Queen Radio and proceeded to accuse Cardi of interfering with the rollout of two of her songs; Cardi brought receipts and scorn in a series of Instagram videos.
It’s a lot to process, so we thought it may be helpful to detail the respective roles of those characters in the feud’s orbit. There are no heroes, only survivors.
The Migos member became the first person pulled into the fray in April after Minaj accused him of disloyalty. Speaking to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe in April, Nicki said Quavo failed to support her explanation of how Migos’s Culture II single “MotorSport” came to be; Minaj claimed she granted Quavo permission to add Cardi to their already-completed track, while Cardi claimed Nicki’s verse wasn’t finished when she recorded her own. The next day, Nicki tweeted that Quavo privately apologized and was forgiven.
Kulture, Cardi’s daughter with her husband Offset, was born in July, and according to The Blast, Nicki purchased the family a $5,000 gift basket from West Hollywood baby boutique Petit Trésor. TMZ disputed the story, though, reporting the purchase never happened. Nicki’s feelings toward Kulture, and Cardi’s parenting, were later cited by Cardi as what prompted her to throw a platform heel in Nicki’s direction during an altercation at a New York Fashion Week party in September that left Cardi with a bruised forehead.
According to Nicki this week on her radio show, Cardi’s bruises at said party came at the hands of Rah Ali, a cast member on Love & Hip Hop: New York. Nicki said her friend Rah punched Cardi over half a dozen times.
In the wake of the NYFW fight, Cardi alleged on Instagram that Minaj had “threaten[ed] other artists in the industry, told them if they work with me you’ll stop fuckin with them.” The website Hollywood Unlocked fingered Future as an example, claiming Minaj threatened to drop the Atlanta rapper from their since-postponed joint tour if he appeared on Cardi’s Invasion of Privacy song “Drip,” which ultimately featured Migos. Future has not publicly commented and the evidence (a leaked reference track) is inconclusive.
London On Da Track
This veteran Atlanta producer released a song last year titled “No Flag” featuring Minaj, 21 Savage, and Offset. Nicki claimed Monday on Queen Radio that London wanted to record a video for the track, but that Cardi convinced Savage and Offset not to cooperate, which Cardi subsequently denied. London has avoided the skirmish, tweeting Monday, “You never have to compliment me by insulting someone else . dope is dope it might just be cut different.” Nicki, on the other hand, has doubled down.
The other song in whose rollout Nicki accused Cardi of meddling was “Krippy Kush,” a 2017 Spanish-language single by Puerto Rican stars Bad Bunny and Farruko, whose remix features Nicki and 21 Savage. The remix’s video features Travis Scott in place of Savage, which Minaj explained by claiming Cardi blocked Savage’s appearance to protect her own 21-featuring single “Bartier Cardi.” According to a screenshot posted on Cardi’s Instagram, the song’s Jamaican producer Rvssian denied Nicki’s claim, writing that Savage couldn’t make the video shoot due to a parenting conflict. 21 Savage has not publicly commented.
This British group, which formed on The X Factor, has a single titled “Woman Like Me” featuring Minaj. Cardi claimed on Instagram that the group asked her for a verse first. Little Mix responded on Twitter, saying their label solicited verses from both rappers, but they chose Nicki. They remain neutral, though, writing that they have “nothing but love and positivity” for both sides.
Cardi’s younger sister Hennessy Carolina first raised the allegation that Nicki helped leak Cardi’s cell phone number, leading to a barrage of harassing text messages, many of which Cardi has claimed came from self-identifying Minaj fans. Nicki denied any involvement on Queen Radio.
During her Instagram rant, Cardi said she turned down a partnership opportunity with Diesel, which later went to Minaj. Wackermann, the CEO of Wilhelmina modeling agency, disputed the claim on Instagram, saying the deal was always built around Nicki. After Cardi posted a photo of her contract offer, Wackermann deleted his post.
Amid talks of fashion deals, Nicki tweeted that she once turned down an opportunity with Steve Madden, making the point that she doesn’t go around publicizing offers she rejects. Apparently wounded, Madden denied the claim and tweeted at Minaj, “#StopLying.” However, the mid-market shoe designer is on record telling Vibe in 2015 that he tried to collaborate with Nicki.
Lil Yachty told BET this week that if Nicki asked him for a verse, he would turn it down, since he shares a management team (Quality Control) with Cardi. As far as we know, neither rapper has asked Lil Yachty for a verse. We suspect he won’t have to worry about it.