Why is it so fascinating when your favorite artists beef? In my normal life, I hate conflict. But, when it comes to drama between celebrities, I'm like, "Zoom in. Turn it up. More of that, please." Such was the case when Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus had a public ~exchange~ at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. Since then, it's been a little confusing trying to figure out where the two iconic women stand, and Miley Cyrus' response to rumors she shaded Nicki Minaj in her "Cattitude" lyrics is adding fuel to the fire.
Miley Cyrus is dropping a new album called She Is Coming on May 30 and it's bringing some banging new hits with it. One song is called "Cattitude" with lyrics that directly reference Nicki Minaj. In fact, they also shout out Cardi B who infamously threw a shoe at Minaj during New York Fashion Week in 2018. In her song, Cyrus sings the lyrics, "I'm the moon, I'm the stars, I'm a Maserati / I love you, Nicki, but I listen to Cardi."
I mean... it's hard to interpret that in any way other than shade.
Stick with me folks while I break this down.
Back in 2015, Cyrus weighed in on the beef that was actually going on between Minaj and Taylor Swift. At the time, Minaj had just dropped her music video for "Anaconda" which did not receive a Video of the Year nomination from MTV. This prompted her to tweet about how historically the VMAs tend to celebrate women "with very slim bodies." Swift, who later won the award for her "Bad Blood" video, took offense to Minaj's comments and tweeted at her, writing, "it's unlike you to pit women against each other," to which Twitter and Minaj essentially responded, "You missed the point..."
OK, OK, OK. So, before hosting the 2015 VMAs, Cyrus spoke with The New York Times about the conflict and said Minaj was just trying to make things "about her" and accused her of being "not too kind" and "not very polite." This is what prompted the awkward on-camera exchange between Minaj and Cyrus when Minaj accepted the award for Best Hip-Hop Video. You can watch it here:
Three years later, Minaj and Cardi B reportedly went at it during NYFW in an altercation that sounds like it was a long time coming.
So, with all of this information, it's safe to assume Cyrus' "Cattitude" lyrics are an intentional dig. Cyrus went on to drag other artists into the mix by tweeting out, "I love you Selena but I listen to Demi..." and tagging Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. But then, turning the shady lyrics on their head, she also added, "I love you me but I listen to Ari," as in Ariana Grande.
Here's how Cyrus clarified and explained everything in an interview with Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp:
I don't think there is beef now anymore. Actually, one of my songs says 'You want to know if we're really beefin'? There's no beef. I'm a vegan.' I think you're allowed to enjoy two artists that fill a similar lane. I just always grew up collaborating with Selena and Demi, and there was never competition. That's why Ariana is one of my best friends. When you are authentically yourself, no one can be you. So, you're never worried about someone stealing your place because it can't be taken because you're the only one.
She added, "I think what they do is so different from each other. That's why they both get a crown. They don't have to share. They don't have to break it in half. There's no reason to fight over it. They're both queens. And anytime you want to feel powerful and strong, that's my go-to, Cardi and Nicki."
So Cyrus says she wasn't actually shading Minaj, but with lyrics like that — plus their dicey history — can you blame fans for jumping to that conclusion?
At the time of publication, Minaj has yet to respond to Cyrus' decision to include her in the track's words. However, if history is any indicator, Cyrus should brace herself to pop up in a future Minaj track.