The blockbuster success of Nicki Minaj touched off a wave of a new generation of female rappers putting them back in mainstream hip-hop’s spotlight: one that stands out among the rest is Cardi B.
I admit that I was a hater of the Bronx native in the beginning. (I wasn’t an immediate fan of Nicki Minaj when she came out in 2009). Maybe the hate came from how she talked and acted whether it was on her Instagram videos or VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop. Or it could’ve been the fact I that I thought her pussy probably stinks. I believe it all came from jealousy which comes is part love if you look at it. That’s when I stopped hating and started embracing. Cardi B is someone who is famous and getting all the glory because she’s simply herself. And like any other millennials, a simple Wi-Fi connection and a phone with a camera can come in clutch.
What I think makes Cardi B stand out from other black female celebrities is her being carefree, authentic and not putting on a front. It’s not like she has to be proper because the box people are putting her in. She embraces being ratchet, loud and speaking in slang with her thick New York accent. I’m not from the hood, but I have some hood tendencies which have probably come out a lot more since she has come onto the scene. (I’ve used deadass and shmoney more times than I can remember)
She’s very open about her struggles from being homeless to stripping to even getting her butt done (which some girls are afraid to say to the world whether we already know or not). She’s comedic; I don’t know many beautiful brown girls who can have me on the floor dying because how funny their videos are. Cardi also used herself as a come-up to get to where she wants to be when it’s prevalent in the black/hip-hop industry for girls to do the opposite. The narrative generally says: I can go from being a nobody to somebody by dating an R&B/hip-hop bad boy or an NBA/NFL player. To me, that’s sounds desperate and a stepping stone for a young girl whose not secure enough make in the industry with their talent alone.
Cardi also used herself as a come-up to get to where she wants to be when it’s widespread in the black/hip-hop industry for girls to do the opposite. The narrative generally says: I can go from being a nobody to somebody by dating an R&B/hip-hop bad boy or an NBA/NFL player. To me, that’s sounds desperate and a stepping stone for young girls whose aren’t secure enough make in the industry with their talent alone. By the time 2015 hit: she had a social media following in the thousands to the point she quit stripping and could start hosting clubs.
Anyone who had doubts about Cardi’s rapping ability better check out her Red Barz Freestyle. Ever since her first Gangsta Bitch mixtape, I’ve gotten even more thirsty for more music. Some people do not take Cardi B seriously as a rapper from the lack of substance in her music or how she following the footsteps of sexual rappers a la Nicki Minaj or Trina. However, this is who Cardi B is; she’s never said she wanted to make conscious rap. When you hear her mixtapes, you’ll hear the sexual explicitness, but you’ll stay for the humor, tongue-in-cheek and plain over-the-top that Cardi possesses. She’s not discussing serious topics in her music a la Lauryn Hill or Kendrick Lamar, she just having fun and there’s nothing wrong with that.
We live in a society where as black people we have to care what white people think of us as they are the ones who have power in America. They are the ones that can “show us the other side” but also have to debunk stereotypes too. So that’s why I commend Cardi B for not watering down herself especially as we enter the Donald Trump-era. “I wanna talk at the level that people could relate to me; I’m not gonna be fake,” Cardi says in one of her Instagram videos.
At the end of the day, some woman may want to run for Congress or go to Yale University, but Cardi wants to climb her way up the hip-hop ladder. I was happy to see her leave Love & Hip-Hop as her larger-than-life is bigger than that. What’s next for the Bronx princess? TV? Movies? A talk show? Only the future can tell, but I know I’ll be watching.