Inside Cardi B and Nicki Minaj's 'humiliating' NYFW throwdown — one year later

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
We look back at Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's shoe-tossing fight at a New York Fashion Week party on Sept 7, 2018 — and how their truce hasn't exactly worked out. (Credit: Getty Images/art by Nathalie Gonzalez for Yahoo Entertainment)

The simmering tension between rap queens Nicki Minaj and Cardi B came to a head in the most unstylish of ways one year ago: during a stiletto-throwing blowup at a New York Fashion Week party.

While Christina Aguilera hit the high notes performing at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party, hosted by fashionista Carine Roitfeld at the swanky Plaza Hotel, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper reportedly “aggressively approached” Minaj’s table and lunged at her. When security stopped her short of making contact, Cardi, 26, whipped off her red heeled shoe and threw it toward Minaj, 36.

The drama stemmed over the “Super Bass” rapper allegedly liking social media posts that said Cardi — who had welcomed her first child, Kulture Kiari, two months before — was a bad mom. But the drama had been bubbling with digs on both sides. It has been attributed to Cardi’s meteoric rise to fame and Minaj being displaced as rap’s top female act.

Minaj was said to be as “cool as a cucumber” as the fight played out — thanks in part to heavy security keeping Cardi’s paws off her animal-print ensemble. The world got a glimpse of the latter part of the obscenity-laced screaming match, when Cardi, balancing in her one shoe, shouted at Minaj while being held back. One security guard could be heard shouting into his radio for “all units” to respond to the second floor terrace for beef busting backup.

Ultimately, the biggest blow was to the egos involved. Cardi was escorted out by security, leaving the venue in her beautiful red dress but without shoes.

Cardi B walks out of the Harper's Bazaar Icons party — sans shoes — at The Plaza on Sept. 7, 2018. She had used one to throw at rival Nicki Minaj inside. (Photo: Steven Ferdman/WireImage)

To make matters worse. during the fracas, Cardi sustained an injury — a large lump on her forehead over her eyebrow after being elbowed by security.

Minaj later sauntered out herself — on her phone as security surrounding her — seemingly unbothered. She even stopped to strike a pose for photogs and blow kisses to the crowd.

The dispute then continued where it started — online. Cardi sent a public message via social media to Minaj, writing, "I've let a lot of s*** slide! I let you sneak diss me, I let you lie on me. I let you attempt to stop my bags,” the last bit being a reference to Minaj supposedly blocking her from booking events. “But when you mention my child, you choose to like comments about me as a mother, make comments about my abilities to take care of my daughter is when all bets are f***ing off!!" Cardi said she had “worked too hard to let “anybody f*** with my success!!!!”

Minaj responded on her radio show and denied saying anything about her hip-hop rival’s baby. She went on to call the fight “so mortifying and so humiliating” in front of the “upper echelon, people who have their lives together.” She said the “disgusting commotion” made her realize that Cardi needed to be stopped. “Get this woman some f***ing help,” Minaj said. “This woman is at the best stage of her career and she’s throwing bottles and throwing shoes? Who the f*** is gonna give her an intervention?”

Nicki Minaj outside the Harper's Bazaar Icons party at the Plaza Hotel on Sept. 7, 2018. (Photo: Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Cardi didn’t buy into Minaj’s poor me story though. She responded on Instagram, saying, “How you say I was the wild animal, I attacked you, you was mortified, humiliated, playing the victim, you need to pick a side? Do you want to be the victim or the gangsta? You lie so much you can’t even keep up with your f**ing lies.”

Despite this playing out in front of the “upper echelon,” there seemed to be no shunning of either woman from the fashion world over the incident. In fact, Cardi went on to attend Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week right after. There were no reported incidents of designers rescinding their invitations that had been extended before the battle royale. And no charges were filed over the fight.

But the beefing didn’t stop. Minaj hired two strip club bartenders suing Cardi in her video for "Good Form." And she capitalized on Cardi’s “stop my bags” line, which had become a meme, by putting it on merchandise and making a profit. Then Cardi leaked Minaj’s phone number. And vice versa.

While there was briefly a truce, the women just can’t resist the jabs, including a recent back and forth about social media listing the 50 greatest rappers. Apparently Minaj was on it and Cardi wasn’t, causing the former to rub it in and the latter to respond.

Though who’s the better rapper could all be a moot point soon — if Minaj’s announcement about an impending retirement is for real. She tweeted then deleted a message Thursday saying she was going to turn off her microphone forever to “have my family.” Though Minaj, who has been working on a new album, has seemingly backtracked and apologized for the “insensitive” post and promised to discuss it on her radio show.

It seems unlikely that she really would retire. If she’s out of the spotlight, how could she carry on the over-the-top and endless siren saga.

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