A source tells PEOPLE that “there was tension” between the pair before the altercation went down on Friday at the Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party during New York Fashion Week and that “everyone was waiting for them to meet.”
“It all happened 20 seconds after Kelly Rowland left Nicki Minaj — she was in between them,” the party guest remarked, adding that Rowland, 37, “said hi to both of them first” before leaving to go upstairs. (A rep for Rowland had no comment.)
While the insider said it initially looked like Cardi, 25, and Minaj, 35, “might hug it out,” suddenly “it all went down.”
“Cardi walked towards Nicki and all of a sudden Cardi started screaming something about her child. She was yelling, ‘Bitch you feisty. Bitch don’t talk s— about my child’ at Nicki,” the source continued.
Representatives for the rappers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
The source went on to say that while “Nicki was there with eight or nine bodyguards,” Cardi only had two people with her.
“It wasn’t fair,” the insider remarked. “I think only one person in Nicki Minaj’s circle was female and other than that there were eight big male bodyguards standing around Nicki. There was no chance Cardi could get through, but that didn’t stop her. She kept trying.”
“She wasn’t scared of the bodyguards,” the source continued, adding that “she threw her shoe because she couldn’t get through but it only hit one of the bodyguards. It did not hit Nicki Minaj.”
As for the welt on Cardi’s head that she was seen exiting with, while the source isn’t sure what caused it, they’re confident that Minaj was not responsible for the injury.
“Nicki Minaj definitely did not hit Cardi. I didn’t see who hit her,” the source explained. “It was a big mob at one point. It could have been anybody. Definitely not Nicki Minaj.”
“It was probably one of the bodyguards or it could have been one of the other girls that was in the mob — it could have been anyone. Nobody threw a fist at Cardi, but she’s really short and maybe someone elbowed her,” the source added. “Nicki was very calm. She was shouting from behind the bodyguards but she didn’t move.”
RELATED VIDEO: Cardi B Escorted Out Of Fashion Week Party After Physical “Altercation” With Nicki Minaj
The source went on to share that “it’s hard to say who the bad guy is” in the situation.
“Cardi should have never acted like that,” the onlooker remarked. “You shouldn’t get physical. The aggression obviously came from Cardi. Nothing seemed to start the fight other than Cardi seeing Nicki up close.”
“It definitely seems to stem from deeply rooted issues,” the insider added.
Immediately following the incident, Cardi was escorted out by security while Nicki stayed inside, another source previously told PEOPLE.
“She left barefoot with her dress ripped and butt out,” the source added.
An NYPD public information officer confirmed to PEOPLE on Saturday that there have been no updates in the case, noting that “at this point in time we don’t have a complaint on either side.” An NYPD PIO previously told PEOPLE that no arrests had been made and officials were on the scene after the argument.
Cardi later wrote a scathing Instagram post that did not mention Minaj by name, but suggested that the Queen rapper had tried to sabotage Cardi’s career and had also spoken badly about the rapper’s 8-week-old daughter Kulture Kiari.
“I addressed you once in person, I addressed you a second time in person, and every time you copped the plea!! But when you mention my child, you choose to like comments about me as a mother, make comments about my abilities to take care of my daughter is when all bets are f—ing off!!” she wrote.
Friday night’s fight comes after a long-running feud between the pair. While Minaj has denied that there was ever any bad blood between them, she has acknowledged a specific moment where she felt hurt by Cardi’s behavior towards her.
“The only thing that Cardi really, really, really hurt my feelings was the first interview she did after ‘Motorsport’,” Minaj explained to Howard Stern in May, speaking about her collaboration on the song with Cardi and Migos. “I remember when I first came in the game, if a female of that stature had done a feature with me on it, I would only be singing their praises and saying, ‘Thank you.’ The first interview she did after ‘Motorsport’ came out, it really hurt me. She looked so aggravated and angry. And the only thing she kept saying was, ‘Oh, I didn’t hear that, I didn’t hear her verse.’ I was like… ’What?’ ”