Cardi B Is Hip-Hop’s Newest Queen and The Throne Is All Hers
Being in a world that’s constantly trying tell us there are only two types of women, Cardi B is becoming that voice for women who want to do their own thing.
Cardi B is the epitome of a New York City rags to riches story. From being the “regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx” to being the first woman artist since Lauryn Hill to top the Billboard charts, Cardi B is on fire. While she’s inspiring young women who are trying to progress from the rough inner city life, she is New York City’s rising star.
When you hear of The Bronx, New York the first images that usually come to mind are the underdeveloped neighborhoods, gangs, and Yankee Stadium. The Bronx is also home to Cardi B, but more importantly, the Bronx is the heart of hip-hop. Where b-boys and b-girls battled it on cardboard boxes to the sounds of Grandmaster Caz and DJs spinning the hottest records at house parties, The Bronx has always been recognized by its rich hip-hop culture. The Bronx is also home to several female artists such as Remy Ma and underground sensation Princess Nokia. Remy has huge support from her hometown but nothing like the support that Cardi B has. Cardi B gives us the raunchy, Bronx vibe like no one else and her fans and city love every minute of it.
Her charismatic and no filter attitude has won over many people. Her star was just beginning to shine when several of her videos went viral on Vine and Instagram. Cardi’s humorous, but relevant, rants touched on several topics such as people hating on others, being an exotic dancer at Sue’s Rendezvous, and her abusive relationship with her incarcerated ex boyfriend. Being bold and over the top is what drew people to her and ultimately led to her becoming an internet celebrity.
Cardi B’s relatability and internet popularity landed her a role on VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop: New York Season 6. She gave her audience a taste of what a Bronx girl is like. The unfiltered charm, the take no mess attitude and being a little rough around the edges won people over. She was never shy on her personal views like running game on men and how women should claim what they want. On the Love & Hip-Hop : New York Season 6 reunion, our beloved Cardi B had a heated exchange of words with veteran Bronx rapper, Peter Gunz.
Cardi B unapologetically told the audience, “if a man wants something from a woman, he has to be able to offer her something as well.” Cardi then eviscerated Peter Gunz by stating, ““You are the type of man that I be talking about. You need to get from these guys what you want. You get pussy out of both of them [Tara and Amina] and what are they getting in return? They look stupid on TV.” Her brutal honesty & no-nonsense disposition was also on display when she called out one of the show’s audience members. “Why you here?” she calls out to them. “Remember when you told me I was just gonna be a fuckin stripper? Look at you now, watching me bitch.” Yas Cardi, yas.
After her success on Love & Hip-Hop, Cardi would then give us previews of her lyrical abilities on Instagram, and people took notice. Her debut in music started in 2015 when she was featured on the remix to Shaggy’s “Boom Boom” alongside dancehall artist Popcaan. Cardi then released the music video to her song “Cheap Ass Weave” later that year. The track, which gives her female audience the perfect balance between humor and pettiness featured some solid lines from Cardi. She spits, “I can’t believe it. This is insane. How can you talk about me when you weave is inside of the grave? (it’s dead, bitch).” She later released her first full project, Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, in March 2016 and Cardi B was everywhere.
In 2017, Cardi B found her way into clubs all over the country. She wasn’t dancing this time as she was literally making “money moves”. She dropped her single “Bodak Yellow” in June 2017 and the single blew up out of nowhere. It steadily crept up the charts and once word got out that she may hit #1, her popularity got even bigger. Eventually, the record topped the charts and Cardi’s fans couldn’t have been any more happier. What felt like a win for Cardi was a win for all people coming out the hood. It seems now with a number one record and a huge fanbase nothing can stop Cardi. With all the love she gets from her fans and other celebrities, like Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg, there are those who are also, as Cardi puts it, “hater hoes.”
Many people feel that Cardi doesn’t deserve the position she is in. One of those people is Azealia Banks, who is known for her own unfiltered rants targeted at anyone she has time for. Azealia took to Instagram and Twitter to express her thoughts on Cardi B. She tweeted, “I wanted a spicy Latina and she gave me poor mans Nicki.” She also tweeted, “Charlemagne and black men in hip-hop should have gotten me, Remy AND Nicki a number one before they gave Cardi or Iggy one.” This was a poor way of addressing colorism and biases in the industry and Cardi retaliated in true New Yorker fashion. She very calmly posted a video of Azealia Banks singing along to “Bodak Yellow” and captioned it “One of the reasons “Bodak Yellow” went #1! Cuz even the HATERS love it!” Very well played.
There was a rather clear path for Cardi to come up in the game as the top woman rapper. There hasn’t been any mainstream competition and those that are present aren’t holding onto the throne. Remy Ma had an impressive comeback with her verse on “All The Way Up” and her scathing diss record “SHEther” but nothing really came out of either of those moments. Nicki Minaj has been trying to play catch up ever since her pop phase in 2014 when she released The Pinkprint. She was also challenged by Remy Ma only to take the cheap way out and talk about how successful she is. And although Azealia is actually a very skilled lyricist, she comes off crazy and turns most people off.
Cardi’s talent, personality, and drive push her well beyond her competition. But as easy as it is to be on top, the fall isn’t a very far one for women rappers. Brooklyn rapper, Young MA had a huge single with “OUUU” but her team failed to capitalize on the next single and her EP was mostly throwaways. Young MA’s popularity dwindled down and now no one is looking for her. If Cardi continues to connect with her fans, stay active on social media, make club appearances, and continues to release heat, she surely won’t be someone you can forget.
Cardi B is paving the way for women to freely be who they are. She’s inspiring women to be unapologetically body and sex positive. She freely wears revealing clothing, very open about her body augmentations and has no shame in sharing that she is talented in ALL aspects of life. Being in a world that’s constantly trying tell us there are only two types of women, Cardi B is becoming that voice for women who want to do their own thing. By society’s standards, if you are the Cardi B type, the “liberated woman” or “hoe,” you are undeserving and are treated differently. She’s breaking those boundaries and showing us that there are no limitations.