On Sunday, Minaj, 35, shared a video via Instagram in which she mugs for the camera as her Queen song “Hard White” plays. The track contains lyrics, not captured in the video, that may be about Cardi, 25.
“I ain’t never played a hoe position,” Minaj raps. “I ain’t ever have to strip to get the pole position. Hoes is dissin’? Okay, these hoes is wishin’. You’re in no position to come for O’s position.”
The O references Minaj’s real name Onika, and Cardi has been open about her past as a stripper. In May 2018, Cardi told Cosmopolitan, “People say, ‘Why do you always got to say that you used to be a stripper? We get it.’ Because y’all don’t respect me because of it, and y’all going to respect these strippers from now on.”
Minaj put “#NYFW” in the caption, a nod to New York Fashion Week, during which the fight went down at the Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party on Friday.
A source told PEOPLE that “there was tension” between the performers beforehand and that “everyone was waiting for them to meet.”
The source explained, “It all happened 20 seconds after Kelly Rowland left Nicki Minaj — she was in between them.”
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While the insider said it initially looked like Cardi and Minaj “might hug it out” inside the party, suddenly “it all went down.”
“Cardi walked towards Nicki and all of a sudden Cardi started screaming something about her child. She was yelling, ‘Bitch you feisty. Bitch don’t talk s— about my child’ at Nicki,” the source recalled about Cardi, who is mom to 8-week-old Kulture Kiari with husband Offset.
The source said that Minaj had eight or nine bodyguards, while Cardi had two people. “There was no chance Cardi could get through, but that didn’t stop her. She kept trying,” the source said. “She threw her shoe because she couldn’t get through, but it only hit one of the bodyguards. It did not hit Nicki Minaj.” (Reps for the rappers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.)
Cardi, who exited with a welt on her head that a source said Minaj did not cause, “left barefoot with her dress ripped and butt out,” according to a party guest. Later, Minaj blew kisses to the crowd as she stepped out of the Plaza Hotel.
Cardi posted an Instagram detailing her grievances. “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, f— up the way I eat! You’ve [threatened] other artists in the industry, told them if they work with me you’ll stop f—ing with them!!” Cardi wrote, avoiding using Nicki’s name. “I let you talk big s— about me!! I addressed you once in person, I addressed you a second time in person, and every time you copped the plea!!”
Cardi then went on to explain that the person in question allegedly attacked her parenting skills, which is what ultimately pushed her over the edge.
“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!!” she added.
“I’ve worked to hard and come too far to let anybody f— with my success!!!! Bitches talk all that s— in they raps but in real life they p—-!! This s— really is for entertainment!!” Cardi concluded, adding the caption “PERIOD.”