There’s no denying that Cardi B has taken the rap world by storm, as proven by her win of the 2018 best female rap artist and platinum status for her album “Invasion of Privacy.” In 2018 Cardi B has become a household name, a meme, a radio headliner, a new mother and a symbol of self-made success.
However, if Cardi B feels as though she’s risen to be the unquestionable leader of the female rap world, Nicki Minaj has no problem reminding everyone that she, and she alone, is the long-time queen of rap.
“Queen,” released Aug. 10, features artists like Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Swae lee, Future and Foxy Brown. The biggest and perhaps most fitting collaboration for the self-proclaimed queen is the rap god himself, Eminem.
Even the album cover furthers the image of Minaj as a queen depicting her in a sexy, prowling cat stance in front of a sunset, dressed in what resembles the gilded jewels and headdress of Cleopatra, minus all the fabric.
In 17 tracks Minaj does not shy away from establishing why she deserves the title of hip-hop monarch with her unique flow, punchy attitude, provocative sound, memorable hooks and searing burns. A predominant theme of the album, besides the one that Minaj deserves the royal title, is her dominance as an independent female, whether that be in the studio or in the bedroom.
Cardi B received praise for her female confidence when she rapped, “I say my own name during sex,” in “I Do,” but Minaj’s entire album full of references to sexual power makes that sentiment feel tame.
Minaj also stayed true to her well-trained ability to drop an excellently worded diss, particularly in her dizzying track, “Barbie Dreams.” None of her male counterparts are left unscathed, including DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Young Thug, Desiigner, 6ix9ine and Drake, whom she calls a crybaby during sex, saying “I don’t know if the p—sy wet or if he cryin’ and sh—t.”
While these burns are a warning against anyone threatening her position, fans are already pointing out a few that seem aimed at possible rap heiress, Cardi B.
In “Hard White,” Minaj clarifies that she has worked hard for her fame. “Uh, I ain’t never played a hoe position / I ain’t ever have to strip to get the pole position / Hoes is dissin’? Okay, these hoes is wishin’.”
This appears to be a stab at Cardi B’s previous career as a stripper. Minaj also raps that she has not picked an heiress, implying no one will be taking her place anytime soon.
— xo, A (@SUPPLIEROFBLUE) August 10, 2018
Besides fans of both Cardi B and Minaj agreeing that in the opening track of the album Minaj says “bury the Bardi” in place of “bury the body,” yet another diss in the same song is suspected to be for Cardi B. “Yo, you can’t wear Nicki wig and then be Nicki / That’s like a fat n— thinkin’ he can be Biggie.” This is possibly a reference to fans pointing out on Twitter in 2017 that Cardi B’s wigs and style mimicked Minaj.
Fans also attribute the line, “unlike a lot of these hoes whether wack or lit/At least I can say I wrote every rap I spit,” to Minaj’s distaste for the large number of writers on Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” album.
It seems unlikely Minaj will confirm or deny that these unaccredited lines are for her female rival, as any beef between her and Cardi B has been limited to passive aggressive moves and vague lyrics. Also, Minaj made it clear on Twitter that her decision to diss artists recognizes their skill, and that at the end of the day, it’s all in good fun.
I only mentioned people in #BarbieDreams that I fuk wit. This isn’t a diss. Yikes. This is culture, this is BIGGIE!!!!! New York!!!! This is FUN. Light hearted fun FUN
— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) August 10, 2018
Minaj’s album leaves no one unsinged, but it does feel almost too defensive to be unconcerned. While the queen of rap successfully proved her skill and flow on her new album, she may have also shown her cards and confirmed suspicion that she is feeling crowded out by Cardi B.
Regardless of how, or if, Cardi B reacts to “Queen,” a feud between two female rappers of such high caliber could only bring more music to fans, and more fodder for the hooks that make their songs so memorable.