- Cardi B., Nicki Minaj, the City Girls, Akbar, and more women in rap have been publicly feuding.
- The rappers have taken to Twitter to air their grievances.
- Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee considers their actions bad for the business of hip-hop.
Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee told Insider that the back-and-forth between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.’s respective camps is bad for hip-hop.
“I think it’s horrible for hip hop, I think it’s horrible for women,” he said about rappers feuding on Twitter in an interview with Insider.
Cardi B. and Nicki Minaj have revived their long-standing feud and rap’s new guard is choosing sides
Both Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. each currently have hit songs featuring buzzy newcomers in rotation.
But the energetic chart-toppers are clouded with a haze of controversy surrounding their social media squabbles.
A lot of this comes down to lyrics and assumed drama. Fans believe Cardi B. dissed the City Girls (currently in the Nicki Minaj camp) in her song “Tomorrow 2,” which included rapper GloRilla. After Nicki Minaj got multiple stars onto her remix of “Super Freaky Girls” — including JT, BIA, Katie Got Bandz, Akbar V, and Maliibu Miitch — fans saw it as ‘swearing allegiance’ to Nicki over Cardi.
To those paying close attention to the jabs, featured tracks, and shifting allegiances, it feels like an all-out war.
Lee, a culture critic and one of the loudest voices on Black Twitter, compared the modern-day antics to earlier eras of hip-hop
Lee has repeatedly settled scores and brokered conversations using the access he gained by creating his entertainment site Hollywood Unlocked. He frequently interviews artists who have yet to get mainstream exposure and was a big supporter of Cardi B. in her early career.
While he interacts with the stars, he told Insider he’s unafraid to chastise their choices.
“I’m not a journalist, I’m not a blogger, I’m a culture critic,” Lee told Insider. “I give criticism on the culture, I push culture, I say the good and the bad.”
“I’m 45 years old, I grew up in the era of Queen Latifah, little Kim MC Light, Yoyo all, Missy Elliot — Foxy Brown, and Lil Kim, even when they had their thing, it was never like this,” he continued.
Since the heyday of Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim throwing sneak disses in the studio, rap has been flooded with women who are unafraid to call each other out in songs and now on social media.
“It’s just nonsense,” said Lee. “It’s sad because it just makes hip-hop look like just a catty, pissing contest when really all women should just focus on their own success and their happiness.”
Fans have contributed to the feuds heavily
Fan pages across platforms have dug up old interviews to fan the flames. Each unearthed Twitter post and YouTube interview leads to more arguments in the public eye. Maliibu Miitch, for instance, was repeatedly tagged in posts that said she would be next to be dissed. She responded by taunting Cardi B. and saying they should take things “off the internet.”
Fans said Cardi B. posted a clip of herself obliging the request but she later clarified that she was in the Bronx getting some chicken stew from her auntie and was not there to throw anything but well-seasoned neckbones.
“Social media amplifies everything so you can get the information really fast and then everybody jumps to fight,” said Lee. “I think it’s just distasteful,” he added.
Women in hip-hop were once relegated to the “first lady” position where they needed a co-sign from a man to succeed. Now, they are taking over the charts — though the so-called “catfights” can get more attention than their work.
“Women have worked hard to be in the conversation as not a competitor but just — they’re in the game with the men. It’s not men versus women, women I think are leading in hip-hop right now,” he continued.
Artists can be made more famous by these feuds, but can also find them limiting
Lee expressed concern that Akbar — the “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” star — has not yet entered the mainstream conversation and these feuds could be hurting her career.
“Akbar’s never had a national tour,” he pointed out.
Akbar recently pounced on Cardi B. with a series of tweets questioning the validity of the stats of her single and claiming that her husband Offset wasn’t as tough as he appeared to be. Shortly after the exchange, her Twitter account was suspended. This left her unable to connect with her fans or promote her shows on the platform.
“I know Akbar but she spent a whole day fighting with a girl who was minding her business and dealing with her kids and her album for the sake of being a conversation then lost her whole Twitter,” he said.
Sometimes it works, though. When JT traded Twitter barbs with Cardi B., she achieved more exposure. The City Girls rapper is currently a co-executive producer of the HBO Max series “Rap Shit,” known for her relationship with fellow rapper Lil Uzi Vert, and appeared on the covers of Billboard, i-D, and Popsugar.
Still, Lee reportedly stepped in to moderate the situation and help steer the conversation back to the music.