Petty with a Purpose: How One Artist is Monetizing Personal Beef

Anyone slightly plugged into celebrity news is aware of the evolving mire between rap femme fatales Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. After a dramatic discourse at NYFW in which Cardi accused Nicki of speaking ill of her child (and hurled a shoe at her) she then went on to pepper social media with tweets referencing the event. In addition to the remarks about Kulture, Cardi also alleged that Nicki “attempted to stop [her] bag” by discouraging other artists from working with her and even threatening them. Nicki responded in turn with a heated segment on her podcast “Queen Radio”, where she vehemently denied all the accusations and threw in some major barbz (ha) regarding Cardi’s mental state, career and alleged use of “payola”.

The artists have continued adding fuel to the fire with subtweets, memes, leaked numbers, and a VERY direct 8-minute video rant on IG.

Just like any hip-hop beef, both sides stand to profit from the feud: both of their names are trending and previously indifferent folks are now downloading albums just to scour the lyrics for a sneak diss. However, in the midst of the name-calling and thinly-veiled threats, one of them got the idea to merchandise the fight. Early October, Nicki quietly released a line of Queen merch tees, jackets and and backpacks based on Cardi's now infamous accusation. The bag, affixed with the labels “Nicki Stopped My Bag”, “Queen Security Administration” and “Department of Stopped Bags” are a brash callout and mockery of her opponent. At $75 each and available in an array of bright colors, the jackets and bags are easy fodder to keep the beef aflame. Dedicated Barbz can purchase the merch in support of Nicki while simultaneously providing the rapper free publicity long after the press stops hounding this story.

Interestingly enough, following the very telling series of videos Cardi posted last week, Nicki posted an (attempt?) at what we will very loosely refer to as a “truce”, tweeting“ Ok you guys, let's focus on positive things only from here on out. We're all so blessed. I know this stuff is entertaining & funny to a lot of people but I won't be discussing this nonsense anymore. Thank you for the support & encouragement year after year. Love you." Cardi responded in kind, reposting a screenshot of the tweet and commenting “"alright then! Let's keep it positive and keep it pushing!”

Judging from their rollercoaster of a history, we’re not going to call this fight just yet. And besides, as of today, those bags are still very much available . *sips tea*

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