Luckily, this year’s show was no exception, and in the case of Nicki Minaj, we actually got the trifecta with her skin-baring Off-White dress, her Egyptian-themed performance at The Oculus, and some choice words while accepting her award for Best Hip-Hop.
But she wasn’t the only one making backhanded references and subtle jabs. Check out our round-up of some of the night’s shadiest moments.
1. Cardi B Stirs Up Some Drama Right From the Start
This year’s MTV VMAs kicked off with a bizarre and utterly confounding appearance from new mom Cardi B, who was pretending to cradle her infant daughter, Kulture, but it turned out to just be an MTV Moon Person award. However, the rapper kicked the night off with what some felt was a jab at Minaj’s new album, Queen, when she referred to herself as “the Empress.”
2. Tiffany Haddish Takes a Dig at Fifth Harmony
Haddish and Kevin Hart kicked off the show as the night’s first presenters, and the actress took the opportunity to serve up a sick burn on the former girl group. “Camila Cabello is nominated for five VMAs tonight,” Haddish began. “So for those of you watching at home: Hi, Fifth Harmony!”
3. Nicki Minaj Claps Back in Defense of Normani Kordei
When the “Chun-Li” rapper took the stage to accept her VMA from Haddish and Hart, she respectfully clapped back at the comedian for her dig on Fifth Harmony, specifically because of her love and respect for Normani Kordei.
“Tiff, don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony, because Normani is that b—-,” Minaj said, laughing. The moment was a rallying cry for 5H fans nationwide.
4. Nicki Minaj Promotes Her Own Awards Show (Sort Of)
After thanking everybody she could think of during her acceptance speech, Minaj made sure to get cryptic (and vaguely threatening) when she told people to turn into her new radio show on Beats 1 to hear who won a particularly not-at-all coveted honor.
“Tune into Queen Radio so you can know who the c—sucker of the day award is going to,” Minaj said before stepping off stage. While we’re not sure who’s even nominated, according to a recent Instagram post from the Queen artist, The Huffington Post is in the running for an article they wrote criticizing some of her recent comments about Harriet Tubman and Spotify.
5. Travis Scott Reminds Us Astroworld is the #1 album (not Queen)
Following Minaj’s recent Twitter rant taking aim at Scott’s new album, Astroworld, as well as his girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, and for some reason their infant daughter, Stormi, fans were already expecting some bad blood. Minaj seemingly lashed out at Scott after his new album held the top spot on the charts for a second week, beating out her Queen album.
However, they all kept things bottled up for the most part. Though, Scott seemingly got in one subtle blow after his performance when he declared, “Astroworld, no. 1 right now!” It might just seem like some simple bragging, but it’s hard to ignore the timing of the remark.
For more on this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, check out the video below.