For some reason, people really want to see Cardi B and Nicki Minaj go at it. For the past month, so many of their Instagram posts, tweets, and in-concert comments have been dissected and interpreted as subliminal disses toward the other by fans and media outlets alike. Both have come out publicly to say it’s all good between them, but what they say doesn’t seem to matter. Considering a beef hasn’t been pushed this hard for any pair of rappers in a long, long time, it’s safe to assume that the pressure may be due to the fact that they’re women rappers — oh, I mean “femcees” — in a male-dominated industry. And the sexist assumption that two women who are both fantastic at what they do should hate each other needs to stop.
Last month, Nicki Minaj posted a clip from Cardi B’s snapchat of the “Bodak Yellow” rapper vibing to Minaj and Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up” in North Carolina. Cardi B called out Nicki Minaj’s “thirsty” stans who commented on the clip and wanted to see them beef. The other day, after footage of Cardi talking about an anonymous “b—-” she didn’t like at a show went viral, the tension was ratcheted up on social media. This week though, Cardi B seemingly quelled talk that she was dissing Nicki by tweeting out lyrics to Nicki’s “Win Again.” Nicki then retweeted them, telling people to “stop reaching.” Imagine if Drake and Kendrick Lamar did any of this for each other. There probably wouldn’t be any “I don’t believe it, they’re being calculated” type of commentary like the recent debate on Everyday Struggle, there would just be celebration that two talented people have decided to co-exist, because there’s no reason not to.
I’ve said this often in my recent posts, but that’s because it’s true: Hip-hop is the biggest genre in the world. The world. The idea that there can only be one prominent woman rapper at a time in a billion dollar genre says a lot about how our society views women. (It’s so absurd that I’m almost tempted to come back and finish this piece only after a good ten minutes of laughter-turned-disgust at people’s ignorance.) Nevertheless, that’s the prevailing idea behind every Cardi B vs. Nicki Youtube analysis, article, or tweet storm. Even after yesterday’s tweets, people are still analyzing their interactions with a critical eye. During Complex‘s (reductionist) “Can Cardi B become the next Nicki Minaj?” segment, Joe Budden is convinced Nicki is being calculated, implying that she’ll eventually take an opportunity to pounce on Cardi on record. A popular Youtube channel titled their video about the tweet, “Nicki Minaj Warns Cardi B Stop Reaching With The Rap Beef Before She Pulls Up–” which is not what she said.