Twitter has declared it the song of the summer. A tangent remix of Kodak Black’s “No Flockin,” the hit single has risen to #4 on Apple Music charts and still has the rest of the summer to go. As with other recent efforts, such as Red Barz, it showcases her lyrical complexity and an unexpected flow from people who thought she was just another Love & Hip Hop hack. She’s had a lot to prove to hip hop fans, rising to fame during Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma’s highly publicized dispute. As a fellow New York rapper that also happens to be female, her name got dragged into the feud by those that were on Remy’s side, saying that Nicki was discrediting new female artists by attempting to monopolize female hip hop fans. However, Cardi has never spoken ill of either women and has remained neutral, staying focused on advancing her own career.
What I personally love about Cardi B is even though she can be loud and ratchet (in the most respectable fashion), her authenticity reveals that ratchet doesn’t equate to being unprofessional. She’s earned amazing features, including Fader and Complex, over the past couple years, solidifying her well-deserved spot in the limelight. She’s shut down rumors that her success was earned without integrity, and her work ethic proves it. At 19, she took up stripping as a means to earn enough money to buy her own place to escape her abusive boyfriend at the time. Cardi B first found stardom via social media platforms, Instagram and Vine. Until Vine’s shutdown last winter, Cardi’s 7-second blurbs of hilarious realness kept me up at all night. By 2016, she’d earned a spot on Love & Hip Hop: New York‘s season 6.
“Bodak Yellow” is sure to get the party started. Her explicit and aggressive delivery has been compared to that of Foxy Jones and Lil Kim. She’s stated that she writes her own music, and her style has developed her style by studying the meaning of metaphors and what could make a good “bar.” My favorite line from the song is “You in the club just to party- I’m there, I get paid a fee.” This speaks to me because I think of how she’s gone from earning her money as a stripper, to earning her money just to appear in the club. As a care-free black girl, I love seeing a little bit of myself in such an outspoken and self-assured person. She represents the demographic of women who are shamed by most of society for being themselves, and she’s unwilling to adapt for the sake of others’ comfortability. I’m happy to call Cardi B one of my role models and will defend her so long as she keeps being herself.
Be sure to follow us on Spotify and Soundcloud @geeksofcolor!