It's a rivalry for the books, the kind we haven't seen in hip hop in a long while: Nicki Minaj VS Cardi B. Instead of taking sides, we're crunching the important numbers, the Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B stats to determine who is more popular.
Things that keep us up at night: the fear of our servers breaking down, whether North West is cooler than Blue Ivy, and who would win in a physical altercation between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Well, we got the answer to the latter a couple of weeks ago when the long-rumored rivalry about who holds the title of Queen of Hip Hop came to a head.
Let's recap what led to this squabble's culmination point. It all started in 2017 when rumors of tension arose over who was the best female rapper—a feud had apparently been brewing between the two wordsmiths. That's when lyrical sleuths began unearthing apparently targeted jabs in each star's respective songs. Lots more speculative shade later, Nicki and Cardi were spotted having a very civilized conversation—gasp!—at this year's Met Gala.
Months earlier, Nicki had even publicly congratulated Cardi for making the Billboard charts. Not long after, they appeared on a track together with Migos. All seemed well and good. But the are-they-or-aren't-they questions never ceased looming over their relationship, and the tensions all boiled over two weeks ago at a New York Fashion Week party. Like, whoa.
Celebrities are used to abiding by a strict no-drama code. Most things are filtered then spun through publicists, always in a positive light and tailored to never, ever comprise the star's integrity. So when one of them goes rogue, it's absolutely fascinating. Especially when it confirms long-standing rivalry suspicions.
Which is precisely what happened when the Nicki Minaj vs Cardi B rumor manifested into a physical fight at NYFW. Ready for another recap? Cardi had supposedly heard that Nicki dissed her parenting skills, which she considered crossing the line—and did not hold back on her very public retaliation. When the Bronx babe spotted the Queens queen, all hell broke loose: she threw her shoe (it was red and from an unidentified brand) and was physically stopped by bodyguards while yelling obscenities that mostly rhymed in itch, only to emerge with a golfball-sized puck on her forehead. All going down to the sweet soundtrack of Christina Aguilera's glorious classic, Genie in a Bottle.
Epic, epic night for those attending that party. Nicky seemed particularly unfazed by the situation the night of and didn't address it until a few days later, but it took approximately a few hours for Cardi to confirm the reason for the beef. You might be asking yourself what any of this has to do with us, and your head-scratching is entirely fair. It got us thinking: we absolutely need to check out what it all looked like on Instagram.
The title of the best female rapper is completely subjective to whoever's camp you're in, but the Instagram stats don't lie. Numbers provide truth (and yes, truth is truth) on who is actually winning the popularity contest, so we pegged both divas against one another on the platform that really counts. Let's get to it.
Nicki's been around longer than Cardi, which naturally explains her larger audience. While miss B's 33.5 million is impressive, miss Minaj crushes it with almost triple the followers.
Round 1 winner: Nicki Minaj
Talk about pulverizing the competition. Nicki might have triple Cardi's followers, but Cardi has six times Nicki's engagement. That means that her fans are way, way, way more engaged and interested in her than the Barbz are in Minaj. Sorry.
Round 2 winner: Cardi B
When an audience reaches a certain level, growth tends to slow down because there simply aren't that many accounts left to woo. So with such an insanely large amount of followers, it's surprising that Nicki's Instagram is still racking up new followers by the fistful. More so than Cardi.
Round 3 winner: Nicki Minaj
Nicki's top performing post of all time was published just this past April to promote her single Chun-Li. It sits at 3.69% engagement, crushing her average of 0.93%, reached 25.8 million users, with a 12.32% effectiveness rate.
Cardi's top performing post of all time was also published recently, just this past July: a very glam shot of her pregnant self, à la Beyoncé (which is the 2nd most liked picture on all of Instagram, FYI). It garnered a 25.48% engagement rate reached 8.2 million users, with an 84.94% effectiveness rate. Safe for Cardi's reach, which is naturally less than Nicki's due to audience size, she's leaps and bounds ahead of Nicki on this one.
Round 4 winner: Cardi B
On September 8, the day after the fight, Nicki Minaj added almost 98k new followers and Cardi B added almost 246K new followers. So, yeah: Cardi gained more new followers than Nicki as a result of this whole thing. More than double, in fact.
Round 5 winner: Cardi B
Ladies and gentlemen of the gallery, the score has been tallied. Looks like Cardi B takes the crown on Instagram by a slim margin. Now whether who makes the best music is for you and your taste to decide, we're just here to deliver the facts. And now, we leave you with this newly crowned Insta champ's motivational words.
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