“I do want to say shoutout to Cardi and all the new female rappers who’ve been doing their thing,” Minaj, 35, told Apple Music’s Beats 1 host Zane Lowe on Thursday, April 12. “With Cardi B, she’s done exactly what she should have done. She’s just gone full steam ahead. And, you know, congratulations to her.”
But the “Starships” singer did admit that Cardi, 25, “really hurt my feelings” shortly after the release of their collaboration with Migos, “MotorSport.” At the time, the “Bodak Yellow” MC suggested that Minaj (real name Onika Maraj) re-recorded her verse on the song to one-up the newcomer.
“When I first came in the game, if a female of that stature had done a feature with me on it, I would only be singing their praises and saying, ‘Thank you,’” Minaj said. “The first interview [Cardi] did after ‘MotorSport’ came out, it just really hurt me ‘cause she looked so aggravated and angry. … I kind of felt ambushed.”
The Grammy nominee said she texted Migos member Quavo at the time in search of some public support.
“I was like, ‘Hey, can you back me up on this? ‘Cause I don’t want people to think I’m lying. What do I have to lie about?’” she recalled. “And he didn’t back me up. He texted me and he was like, ‘I would go on Twitter and back you up if you were my girl.’”
The feud speculation reignited when a behind-the-scenes video for “MotorSport” premiered in December and Minaj was noticeably absent. She explained in Thursday’s interview that she had a scheduling conflict and was upset that neither Migos nor Cardi (real name Belcalis Almanzar) publicly came to her defense.
“That really, really hurt me because I really fully supported [Cardi],” a visibly emotional Minaj said. “And up until this recent interview she did [with Ebro Darden for Beats 1], I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview. And I can only imagine how many girls wished they could’ve been on a song with Nicki Minaj. I’m not saying it in a cocky way … I’m saying it, like, the first thing out of your mouth when somebody asks you about a Nicki Minaj feature is, ‘She changed her verse.’ Excuse me?”
Though the Trinidad native felt let down by the experience, she doesn’t have any animosity toward Cardi, who recently called the beef rumors “internet made-up.” A source told Us Weekly exclusively earlier on Thursday, “Nicki really respects Cardi and will always root for the success of other female artists and MC.”
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