Social media is still swooning over the shoe-throwing dust- up between Hip Hop’s current top female artists Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. The pair were leaving New York Fashion Week’s annual Harper’s Bazaar Icons party late Friday at the Plaza Hotel in New York City when Cardi B appeared to go after Minaj. Both parties took to their various channels and addressed their sides of the story.
In a social media post, Cardi B asserts that she was protecting the dignity of her daughter who she claims had been talked about negatively by Minaj.
Minaj on the other hand took to her Queen Radio show on Apple’s Beats 1 and denied ever speaking of the rapper’s daughter.
While analyzing the nature and timeline of this feud, one cannot help but be sad. It is a known fact that Hip Hop culture and its music thrives around beef; Nas and Jay Z, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, Biggie and Pac, Meek and Drake, the list continues. Therefore, it is not a surprise that as soon as Cardi B came into the limelight, rumors of a feud between her and Minaj began to circulate. Both rappers denied these rumors over and over again for almost a year.
“I just feel like it’s really internet made-up,” Cardi said hours before the release of her album Invasion of Privacy.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case this past Friday. So how did they get here?
We as the public have to take part of the blame in helping to create and escalate this conflict. Ask yourselves, why is it that whenever there is more than one female MC at the top we are so quick to pit them against each other? The public rarely does this with the men. Most of the times we find out about existing “male” conflicts through lyrics. It is pitiful that our society thrives off cat fights and this situation was no different.
Secondly, we are also part to blame for the violent turn this conflict took. Cardi B is a product of society. She gained her fame and success through social media and reality tv which are the staples of our present time. Her controversial content, behavior and down to earth personality grew upon us and we let her be regardless of the audience, place, and time. Cardi B has maintained her Love and Hip Hop persona throughout her success and we have gladly let her. So why are we surprised that she would throw a shoe at another A -list celebrity over an alleged liked tweet at one of the most elite events in the country? An event where only 10 years ago, female Hip-Hop artists like herself were not receiving invites.
The issue with our society today is that we have made it very easy for celebrities to gain fame and success without having to honor the cultural labor that was done before to enable them to have access to some of these spaces. Cardi B is no exception and that is why it was very easy for her to ignore the years of labor put in by Black female Hip-Hop entertainers to establish themselves in the fashion world when confronting Minaj in the manner that she did.
At the end of the day she makes it clear that “ she is all about the bag,” and such a stunt would do nothing to harm her pockets directly. Evidently, her Tom Ford lipstick that was released a day after the incident sold out in hours. However, because we have enabled her to be able to act this way, she is unable to see beyond her personal income and herself to factor in the negative consequences that her actions on such a powerful stage will have to other Black women in Hip-Hop.
Regardless of who did what and to who, we, the fans and bystanders, have a major role to play in founding and escalating this conflict to the state that it is today.