Nicki Minaj, Cardi B constantly pitted against each other


Album art for Minaj's single, Chun-Li.

Avery Allen, Writer

Female rapper Cardi B began her rise to fame when she released her single in 2017, titled “Bodak Yellow”. Since her emergence on the music scene, she is often compared to Nicki Minaj, arguably the most well-known female rapper.

Minaj has been the face of female rappers for years, and has multiple well-known albums. Minaj has done countless features with some of the most well known rappers and singers in Hollywood, including Beyoncé, Migos, Post Malone, 6ix9ine, and Lil’ Wayne, but with Cardi B’s growing fame and strong personality, people are questioning if she will rise above Minaj.

Cardi B released her album “Invasion of Privacy” on April 5th, 2018, and Minaj released her single “Chun-Li” on April 12, with “Barbie Tingz” coming out soon after. “Invasion of Privacy”, “Chun-Li”, and “Barbie Tingz” have been played on the radio and by young people all summer. Minaj’s new album, “Queen,” released on August 10th, created an uproar around the female rapper.  “Queen” is completely different from Minaj’s previous work, and reached #1 on the charts in 81 different countries. This is the first female rap album to do so.

The media relentlessly pits the two against one another, though the two rappers have never publicly said anything hostile towards the other, and neither has shown direct animosity towards the other. The media has created a rivalry that was never real in the first place.

Both rappers have a background of domestic violence and poverty, and even grew up in the same city, New York.

Minaj grew up in a poverty stricken household in Queens, New York, with an abused mother and drug-addict father. She claims that her motivation to rise to fame was “female empowerment,” and the fact that she wished her mother could stand up to her abusive father, but was never able to. Minaj decided to take matters into her own hands by becoming famous and changing her mother’s life for the better. She began writing her own raps when she was twelve, until 2009, when she signed Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money record label, and her fame skyrocketed.

Cardi B grew up in The Bronx, New York with her Trinidadian mother, Dominican father and her Grandmother, who lived close by in Washington Heights. Cardi B was used to living in poverty and was even affiliated with gangs.

At nineteen, Cardi B was fired from her job and began stripping at local clubs for money. Throughout her stripping career, she rose to more high end clubs in Manhattan, and eventually was able to support herself financially and go back to school. She was finally able to move out of her abusive boyfriends house, after originally having nowhere else to go. While working as a stripper, Cardi B became recognized greatly on social media platforms such as Vine and Instagram, which is what eventually landed her a spot on the reality TV show Love & Hip-Hop: New York. After joining the reality TV industry, she was able to focus on her music career, and finally she topped the charts with the release of “Bodak Yellow”.

The media can compare the two female rappers all they want, but one thing will not change: Minaj’s accomplishments will never be forgotten, even as Cardi B continues to gain more recognition. While we see the two artists, relentlessly pitted against one another, we rarely see two male rappers pitted against one another with such extremity. Why is it that when the world finds two African-American female rapper icons, they find it necessary to deem one better than the other and pit them against each other? Both Minaj and Cardi B started with very poor families and in bad situations, but have made names for themselves through dedication and passion. Pitting the two against one another is a poor attempt at creating a tense situation that never existed in the first place.

Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy Album.