New York Fashion Week may be an atypical venue for one of 2018’s most epic rap feuds, but on Friday night, during Harper’s Bazaar Icon party, photos and video of a physical altercation between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj's party circulated the web at warp speed.
While the showdown shocked everyone who could see both rappers happily wearing gorgeous gowns and enjoying NYFW hours earlier, anyone who has been paying attention shouldn’t be surprised.
For more than a year, Cardi and Nicki have walked on eggshells while rumors of their alleged beef bubbled just below surface. Through shady interviews and sneak disses, the rappers waged a cold war.
In one photo from last night, Cardi brandishes a giant lump on her head with a facial expression that makes the injury look like a trophy. TMZ’s headline reads “Cardi B Gets Lump on Head, Attacks Nicki Minaj, Throws Shoe, Calls Her a ‘P***y.’”
But how exactly did we get here? Was it Nicki’s obsession with being the queen of rap? Is Cardi too sensitive? Below we revisit the history of Cardi B and Nicki’s long simmering feud and the events that led us here.
June 2017: Cardi B joins Remy Ma at Summer Jam
There’s debate on when the feud between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B began. While some believe it started as early as March 2017, it’s likely that part of the reason Nicki didn’t welcome the young rapper into the scene with open arms is Cardi’s appearance during Remy Ma’s 2017 performance at Hot 97’s Summer Jam festival.
The performance came in the heat of Nicki’s feud with Remy, as Cardi B joined a procession of other women rappers to perform “U.N.I.T.Y.,” before Remy delivered a performance of her Nicki diss track “ShETHER” complete with a picture of Nicki behind her.
August 2017: Nicki denies subbing Cardi on “No Flags”
In August 2017, Nicki Minaj appeared on London on da Track’s single “No Flags” alongside Cardi’s boo Offset and 21 Savage. On it, she rapped the following verse:
Lil bitch I heard these labels tryna make another me
Everything you getting, lil hoe, is cause of me
I heard I’m stopping bags, word to Shaggy it wasn’t me
These bitches is my sons, but they daddy ain’t bust in me
I’m a white picket fence bitch, you a on the bench bitch
See me in the gym, now these bitches wanna go bench press
I ain’t fucking with you sis, we ain’t with the incest
Yes I am the Queen, I’m still trying to find a princess
People immediately began speculating that Nicki was taking shots at the former Love & Hip Hop star, but she quickly denied those claims.
September 2017: Cardi featured on “No Limit,” denies beef on The Breakfast Club
In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne and DJ Envy prodded Cardi B about the alleged beef she had with Nicki. The question followed rumors circulating that Belcalis was dissing Nicki in her feature on G-Eazy’s “No Limit.” “Can you stop with all the subs?/Bitch, I ain’t Jared,” she rapped.
Cardi denied they had any problems saying, "We just conversated man. And that's it." She also brushed off the “No Limit” rumor by explaining, “People don’t understand that I got beef with 10 bitches in the hood, and I still be in the hood.”
September 25, 2017: Cardi B makes history with No. 1 song “Bodak Yellow”
In the fall of 2017, Cardi B broke the first of her many records by becoming the second female rapper with a No. 1 hit song on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to “Bodak Yellow.” Lauryn Hill accomplished the feat with "Doo Wop (That Thing)" back in 1998.
After the news broke, Nicki Minaj congratulated Cardi on the No. 1 hit, praising her on Twitter.