April 19, 2019

The Sexist Paradigm Behind Celebrity Feuds

“Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.’s feud has everything: a physical altercation in couture gowns; the alleged leaking of private phone numbers on the internet; a 10-part Instagram saga; an odd call for a truce. The only thing missing from this clash of rap titans is an actual rap song, but that’s hardly necessary in our current era of social media-driven feuds.

The latest chapter in the now year-old squabble began on October 28 when news broke that Cardi’s sister, Hennessy Carolina, had accused Nicki of leaking Cardi’s phone number to fan clubs devoted to Nicki, leading members of those fan clubs to harass Cardi.

Nicki denied the accusation.

“You [Cardi] can’t control your sister, but you want me to control millions of fans,” she said on the 10th episode of her radio show on Apple’s Beats 1, Queen Radio, released this past week. “I’ve never leaked a number in my life … y’all continue to lie on me to make me look like a bad person.”

It seems fair to say that Nicki’s comments struck a nerve. In response, Cardi posted 10 different Instagram videos addressing Nicki and covering such topics as what kind of narrative Nicki is constructing; whether Nicki’s role in their feud is that of a victim, an aggressor, or the Street Fighter character Chun Li (a reference to Nicki’s latest album); how Cardi has turned down advertising deals that Nicki subsequently picked up (she specifically mentioned the denim brand Diesel); and how jealous Nicki is of Cardi’s success.”

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