Was This Beef Really Worth Cardi B Deleting Her Instagram?

Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock
Cardi B’s saying goodbye to Instagram...for now.
The Invasion of Privacy rapper deleted her account today after a feud with fellow rapper Azealia Banks quickly escalated. The move is genuinely shocking for Cardi: she grew a huge fanbase on the social media site, developing her public persona through viral videos and by coining off-the-cuff, often hilarious catchphrases and mantras.
So what seems to have caused this abrupt, out-of-character move from Cardi? None other than Banks’ latest interview, where she stirred up some extremely in-character drama. She was back at it again yesterday on The Breakfast Club on Power 105.3 FM, throwing incendiary insults Cardi’s way.
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“Two years ago, the conversation surrounding Black women’s culture was really reaching an all-time high,” Banks said in reference to Beyonce's 2016 album Lemonade. “There was just this really, really, really intelligent conversation going on nationally.
“And then everything just kind of changed, and then it was like Cardi B,” she said, bringing the rapper into the conversation.
Banks continued: “I’m just talking about this caricature of a black woman that black women themselves would never be able to get away with. Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be cancelled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, we would be ragging on her all day.”
Once Banks’ comments circulated this morning, Cardi posted a long, typed-out response on Instagram (to which Banks — again, characteristically — responded at length). After a few hours, Cardi deleted her Instagram account entirely and switched her Twitter profile to private.
Our first reaction is one of genuine surprise. Why did Cardi take the bait here? Banks has a notorious track record of crying wolf: there was the Rihanna beef, there were the shady comments about Lemonade, there was the #curryscentedbitch controversy (and subsequent clapback), there’s homophobic slur after homophobic slur. She’s even been after Cardi before, once “Bodak Yellow” became the song of 2017 — and fans flocked to Cardi’s side, understanding Banks’ M.O. after years of seeing this play out.
Social media can be as toxic as it can be useful, but if anyone knows how to navigate those waters, it’s Cardi. And as an artist whose rise to fame is inextricably linked with social media, we’re wondering what Cardi’s going to do next. Her popularity undoubtedly transcends Instagram by now, but we’re still wondering: is this worth it?
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