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Nicki Minaj vs Cardi B: A Toxic Industry

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

New York Fashion Week, the epicentre for the trendiest fashions and the most A-list of celebrities. A week of elegance, glamour, and style, where every major fashion house attempts to outshine the other with the most extravagant parties. Nevertheless, this year's Harper's Bazaar Icons party was not so glamorous as it was marked by the climax of a months-long suspected feud, ending with none other than Cardi B throwing her shoe at Nicki Minaj. According to eyewitnesses, the fight began when Nicki ‘intentionally’ stepped on Cardi’s gown, causing it to rip, leading their entourages to brawl up until the infamous shoe toss.

As the feud escalates, the rappers have dissed each other via Twitter, Instagram, radio shows and seemingly every other form of media. Since then, both of them have provided several reasons for the sudden ‘outburst’ of the fight, ranging from Nicki ‘shading’ Cardi’s ability to be a mother, Cardi allegedly hiring someone to beat up Nicki, to simply a rivalry born from competing to be the ‘best female rapper’.

Now, at first, it's easy to dismiss this feud as an abnormality, something completely different from the reality of the entertainment industry. But the truth is, it’s not. To be honest, it's probably the most common and well-known aspect of ‘show-biz’: the pitting of female artists. Think about it. How many headlines have you read that sound a little like, ‘Women X steals Women Y’s man!’, ‘Who wore it better?’, or ‘Women X steals Women Y’s crown!’. Now, insert some celebrities into that equation, Taylor vs Katy, Selena vs Demi, or even Beyoncé vs Adele; it suddenly looks very familiar. So why is it that we celebrate an industry that pits women against each other, and encourages us to pick one over the other? The answer is simple: sales.

Ultimately, the world of celebrities revolves around marketing a product that audiences will want to pay attention to, and will pay money to know everything about them. As a whole, this mindset preys on the concept of women being ‘catty’ and competitive with one another, without truly knowing how to be friends. Take Cardi and Nicki again, for example. Both are successful women, both are recognized for their craftsmanship, and both are promoting their own individual work. However, entitling an article ‘Cardi B and Nicki Minaj sell a lot of records’ is considered far less sensational than ‘Cardi B vs. Nicki Minaj: An Illustrated Guide to the Greatest Rap Beef of Our Time’ (Daily Beast).

More than that, this type of reporting style speaks to society’s trend to cause women to constantly compare themselves to one another, setting the norm and precedent. As such, when the media encourages this petty behavior, it eventually reaches the average women, continuing a dangerous cycle.

Moral of the Story? Two women can be equally good at one thing, without having to be called better or more successful than the other.

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