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Nicki Minaj & Cardi B’s Beef Timeline: How Did It Start?

With the hostilities between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj — and their husbands, Offset and Kenneth Petty — heating up again after a few years on simmer, you may be wondering how all this got started in the first place. Don’t worry; Uproxx has you covered. Here’s a timeline of just how the feud between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B got started and what’s happened since then. While there’s been plenty of speculation about who said what about whom, we’ll just stick with the facts.

The Beginning — 2017

In our original timeline of the Nicki/Cardi feud, we noted that everything likely starts with Cardi’s “Bodak Yellow” release. The ensuing fan and media frenzy surrounding it led to the song becoming the first by a solo female rap artist to reach No. on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” — a goal Nicki had pursued and fallen short of for nearly a decade prior.

However, the song was still several weeks away from its peak when Nicki Minaj’s fans, known as Barbz, began throwing shade at Cardi. At the time, it had been nearly three years since Nicki had last released an album. Perhaps the Barbz perceived a threat to Nicki’s dominance or simply wanted to see a fight, but either way, they got one — ironically, as a result of the two women’s attempted show of solidarity.

Open Conflict — 2017 – 2018

In October 2017, Migos added Cardi B to their Culture II single, “Motorsport.” This turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. After the song’s video was released in November, news of behind-the-scenes drama between the two began to trickle out. Nicki and Cardi’s scenes were shot separately, leading to more speculation of tension between them, and after it was revealed that Migos added Cardi without consulting Nicki and that Nicki’s verse was allegedly changed at the request of Cardi’s label, Atlantic, there was no stopping the oncoming train wreck.

In April 2018, Nicki began openly throwing Cardi under the bus in interviews while promoting her 2018 album Queen, which was due just a few months after Cardi’s debut Invasion Of Privacy. Invasion turned out to be a coronation, Cardi’s victory lap solidifying her as a breakout star. In interviews, Nicki called out Cardi for being “ungrateful” and for not backing up her explanation for their separate shoot days, which involved a scheduling conflict with her hairstylist.

In September 2018, things erupted, as their meeting at a New York Fashion Week party that year led to a physical altercation in which Cardi threw a show at Nicki, getting a bump on the forehead from one of the older rapper’s bodyguards in return. Since then, they’ve returned to less open hostilities, settling into a cold war, complete with proxy fighters and accusations of sneak disses flying from fans on both sides.

The Cold War — 2019 – Now

Since then, the closest either side has come to outright beef has been in the wake of Nicki’s 2022 “Super Freaky Girl (Queen Mix),” which featured rappers Akbar V, BIA, JT, Katie Got Bandz, and Maliibu Miitch. In the weeks after its release, Akbar V and JT both lashed out at Cardi — ostensibly at the behest of Nicki Minaj, if you were to ask fans what prompted the exchanges.

Eventually, both feuds petered out though, returning to status quo until the 2023 MTV VMAs — the first time they’d both appeared at such a function since their NYFW fight. Now, details of the inciting event are murky, but it appears that some sort of exchange between the two rappers’ crews backstage took place that led to Cardi apparently being threatened but later boasting on Twitter that “I ain’t even flinch.”

Then, the next weekend, Nicki’s husband, Kenneth Petty, posted a video with his crew roaming New York, apparently looking for Offset. While Offset laughed off their threats, a judge apparently did not, slapping Petty with a probation violation (he is serving a suspended sentence for failing to register as a sex offender in California) and sentencing him to house arrest.

In the aftermath, Nicki seemed not to sweat the sentence, sharing a song snippet from her upcoming album Pink Friday 2 that references her husband’s “G” status and having shooters.

The key to all this might just be in that last bit, though; beef sells — supposedly — and with both rappers gearing up to release new full-length projects, don’t be surprised if this list gets longer in the near future.