She has taken on fellow pop stars Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Azealia Banks in high-profile feuds. But confrontational rapper Cardi B is backing down from her latest fight – with Azerbaijani nationalists.
The New York-based musician, whose single with the acronymic title WAP topped the UK charts in September, has been trying to extricate herself from the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway South Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Cardi, real name Belcalis Almánzar, posted an advertisement on Tuesday to her 76 million Instagram followers for a fundraiser in support of Armenia. With war raging in the region, killing at least 250 people so far including civilians, the post swiftly attracted criticism from Azerbaijanis and spawned the hashtag, #cardibsupportsterrorism.
Nagorno-Karabakh is legally Azerbaijani territory but has a majority-Armenian population who have ruled themselves since breaking off in the 1990s, sparking a war that displaced more than 600,000 Azeris.
Almánzar, whose fight with Minaj culminated in a physical altercation between the pair at New York fashion week 2018, quickly apologised for the advertisement, which she said she posted at the behest of an Armenian American real estate agent helping her buy a house.
“I woke up this morning and I’m seeing that me and my baby father are getting attacked,” she said. “Yesterday we were trying to sell a property that we have in Atlanta … And our consultant is Armenian and he was really in distress because he was saying there’s a lot of terrible genocides going on in his country, and he said: ‘Can you please post something for a cause, for a good cause, for Armenia?
“And we said: ‘Sure, why not?’ We love to support everybody. And then I wake up and I see a lot of people from Azerbaijan writing me things, writing me stuff, and I did not know that this is a war between two countries.”
The fighting between the formerly Soviet states has attracted little attention in Washington, according to many analysts, but a significant amount of commentary from celebrities of Armenian origin and their partners.
Kim Kardashian and her family, Kanye West, the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and the System of a Down singer Serj Tankian are among those who have enthusiastically publicised Armenia’s cause.
On Wednesday, Almánzar was continuing to try to distance herself from the fighting, with Armenians now criticising her for appearing to support them then abandoning their side.
“It wasn’t in my place to post something, I should’ve done more research,” the rapper said in a voice message posted online. “But I don’t know what to believe. One side is telling me something, the other side is telling me something else.
“I just want peace. I love peace. I want everybody to get along. I don’t want people dying. Nothing. Why do you keep harassing me if keep apologising for it? I don’t know. I don’t fucking know. Have a good night.”