Keep It Classy: Kelly Rowland Speaks Out About Witnessing the Cardi B vs. Nicki Minaj Melee

Kelly Rowland attends as Harper’s BAZAAR Celebrates ‘ICONS By Carine Roitfeld’ at the Plaza Hotel on September 7, 2018 in New York City.
Kelly Rowland attends as Harper’s BAZAAR Celebrates ‘ICONS By Carine Roitfeld’ at the Plaza Hotel on September 7, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images for Harper’s Bazaar)

When the shoe throw heard around the world took place at the now infamous Harper’s Bazaar “ICONS by Carine Roitfeld” party on Friday night, Kelly Rowland was a reluctant witness. In fact, several reports noted that the singer (and our personal all-time favorite of Destiny’s Children) had just posed for a picture with Nicki Minaj and La La Anthony in the moments prior to the altercation.


Rowland, who has been otherwise living her best, beautiful black life this New York Fashion Week, was none too pleased to see two of the biggest current stars in music engage in a public confrontation, telling E! News on Monday:

“I think in a time where Serena Williams is fighting for equality—I love both Nicki Minaj and Cardi B and I think that they are extremely talented—and in a time when she is fighting for women’s equality, we just can’t be fighting.”

“There’s no time for us as women to fight and they are just so talented and I just genuinely love them both so much, but it’s just not the time. We have way bigger issues as women, you know what I mean? So I don’t know. I’m Switzerland, I don’t f—cking know,” she said.

Rowland’s sentiments echoed our own personal feelings—and those of many of our readers; some of whom were dismayed that we covered the melee at all (sorry guys, that’s unfortunately not how news works). Cardi B immediately made her feelings known subsequent to the incident, but Nicki stayed mum until Monday, when she told her side of the story on Queen Radio on Apple Music’s Beats 1.

The other night I was a part of something so mortifying and so humiliating to go through in front of bunch of upper echelon—and it’s not about white or black—it’s about upper echelon people who are you know people who have their lives together, the way they pass by looking at this disgusting commotion I will never forget. I was mortified. I was in [an] Alexandre Vauthier gown, okay, off the motherf*cking runway, okay, and I could not believe how humiliating it all felt because we—and I use we loosely and I’m going to clarify we—how we made ourselves look ...

So let me just go on record having said I would never talk about anyone’s child or parenting; I don’t care about anyone’s parenting. I don’t give a shit, and it’s so crazy to me that people always need to make Onika the bad guy. If you’re right in whatever you’re doing, you don’t ever have to make someone into the bad guy. Just speak your truth. When you have to say that I said or did something that you know I’ve never said or did—no clue [where that came from]. I just want to let the world know that Onika Tanya Maraj, would never—has never and will never speak ill of anyone’s child. I am not a clown. That’s clown shit. and the other thing that’s clown shit is telling the world that someone said something just so that you don’t feel f*cking dumb for looking dumb for doing dumb shit. You knew that when that footage came out you’s about to look f*cking dumb. ... I’m such an ill ass bitch I didn’t even feel the need to defend myself that night and say I didn’t say this, I didn’t do this…it’s all a bunch of lies.

Despite that data dump—and gathering some rather incriminating evidence about her nemesis to support her claims, Minaj then said, “I can’t discuss anything about it,” citing legal reasons (erm, okay). As for Cardi, TMZ reports that sources close to the entertainer wholeheartedly refute Nicki’s version of events, and say Cardi has no regrets about the altercation, saying she’d “do it again.”

Umm ... can we not, Ladies? Switzerland is lovely this time of year.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



I’m with Kelly on this(although I lean more towards Cardi. Nicki comes off problematic).

I see people on social media going back and forth arguing about two people that don’t even know they exist. I’m sitting here like “Y’all are putting all this energy into Cardi vs Nicki but do y’all know what is going on in the country or world? Republicans are trying to ram through a possibly corrupt supreme court justice. Elections are coming up. Are y’all even registered to vote? ” It’s one to report and read about it. But people have been spending hours and days arguing with other people about their “fav”.