Nicki Minaj and Cardi B continue to remain uniquely linked, but are fans seeing smoke where there's no fire?
"The only thing with Cardi, that really really hurt my feelings, was the first interview she did after "Motorsport" came out," revealed Nicki, during her extensive . "I remember when I first came in the game, if a female of that stature had done a feature with me on it, I would only be singing their praises and saying thank you. The first interview she did after "Motorsport" came out, it just really hurt me. She looked so aggravated and angry. The only thing she said was "oh, I didn't hear that, I didn't hear that verse." Like what?"
She continues, reflecting on her early days as a newcomer. "I remember when I first did a song with Trina for the first time - that's why to this day I love Trina, because she is the first female rapper to acknowledge me behind the scenes...to this day you've never heard me speak ill of Trina, because of that." She does acknowledge that Cardi's most recent interview seemed to mend the rift, but that didn't change the way she felt about the "Motorsport" roll out; especially not after fans accused her of lying about the song's conception. "I texted Quavo like, can you back me up on this?...He didn't back me up. He texted me, like 'I would go on Twitter and back you up if you were my girl lol.' That hurt."
She proceeds to emphasize one crucial fact - her feelings were hurt, by Cardi and Quavo alike, especially after they left her hanging out to dry. "People would watch me be slaughtered, and not one person will step in to say the truth...They will allow people to run with the lie, cause it's entertaining to see Nicki portrayed as the bad guy."
Evidently, it would appear that Nicki has embraced the villanous role. Consider her words on her latest banger, "Chun-Li:"
"Oh, I get it, they paintin' me out to be the bad guy
Well when's the last time you see a bad guy do the rap game like me?"
It wouldn't be the first time a rapper has embraced their inner Tony Montana; after all, he is one of the game's unsung heroes. Yet it does raise a few questions. Nicki seemed pretty torn up in the interview, yet on wax, she seems to be gunning for the jugular. That's not to say that either track is aimed at Cardi B, despite a growing consensus that subs were indeed thrown. In fact, I feel conflicted about the insinuation, as I largely previously wrote about the"beef" being the product of a fan construct. Yet, it's become difficult to separate the two artists, as the narrative continues to metabolize with every drop. The dichotomy simply won't let lie.
Perhaps there's animosity. When Nicki speaks on Cardi throughout the interview, the emotion in her voice appears genuine. We all know rappers generally struggle in the art of burying hatchets. Would it really be surprising if some of Nicki's frustration bled into her records? She's an intelligent woman, and had to know that people would immediately connect the two. Therefore, it's easy to insert Cardi B as a fictitious antagonist in Nicki's bars, like the following lyrics from "Barbie Tingz:"
"Rap bitches tell they team, "Make 'em like Barbie"
Had to come off IG so they can't stalk me
All they do is copy looks, steal music too
Want to see what bitches do when they lose the blue-print"
"When it come to stealin' flows, these birds is fluent
But they stutter when get asked 'bout the queen's influence
When it's clear they bite me, I'm flattered they like me
I don't wanna check bitches, tell 'em wear their Nikes"
Given the context of Nicki's heartfelt interview, it's not difficult exactly to read into this one. Even if there is an absence of actual smoke. In all honesty, it's fascinating to watch the relationship between these two rappers unfold. And let's be honest, adding our own tinfoil theories to potential subs comes with the territory of hip-hop fandom. One thing is certain. Nicki Minaj dropped two bangers, and seems to be preparing a triumphant return. And what a triumph it shall be.