It’s okay to like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B at the same damn time. It’s absolutely possible to enjoy both The Pinkprint and Invasion Of Privacy. Seriously, you don’t have to choose. In fact, don’t. It’s time to step outside of The Matrix.
As both a woman and an avid listener of hip-hop, it’s always satisfying to hear music that I connect with when it comes from another woman. This isn’t about the integrity of “real hip-hop” over ancient boom-bap beats from 1993, it’s about women having a choice in the music they enjoy for themselves without being told why they should or shouldn’t listen to a particular female artist. Like most humans, we women love finding something we can easily relate to art. Some women have been strippers before, some women have been stuck in toxic relationships that were hard to escape from before, and some women like to have something to dance to at any given moment. These are all tenets that both Cardi B and Nicki Minaj address in some fashion in their work, and it’s certainly part of why their songs connect with millions and do so well on the Billboard charts. In our heads, these women are our best friends.
But let’s face it, the music landscape for female rappers nowadays is looking pretty sad. And given how hard it is to make it as a female rapper at all, it’s not fair that the music industry, media and social memes recklessly continue to push the tired narrative that two of hip-hop’s biggest stars — who just so happen to be women — shouldn’t like each other, and should therefore be exchanging intense barbs about who is better at this rap thing.
Cardi B and Nicki have more in common music-wise than some may realize, and it’s a wonder they don’t already share fanbases. Cardi B just broke Taylor Swift’s Apple Music streaming record and although Nicki Minaj hasn’t released a major project since 2014, you can still catch her at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She’s still being talked about and she’s still relevant, so there’s no need to get for Nicki fans to get mad at Cardi B for doing exactly what anyone in her position who ever dreamed of becoming a rap star would do. They’re both beautiful women, they both rap, sing and break records.