Is this just a moment in time or the beginning of a change?
Congratulations are in order for the first female urban artist to top the Billboard 100 since Lauryn Hill did it in 1998 with “Doo Wop (That Thing)”. Cardi B did the improbable…kinda. This is a new world and the rules we used to play by are out of the window now. All content is instantaneous and no act is guaranteed to last unless it/he/she stays relevant. So to say it’s improbable is wrong since anything is possible now.
Cardi B has been grinding her ass off (thankfully not literally) this year and it has paid off in dividends. I can’t lie – I didn’t see this coming but I’m glad that it has come to fruition. I am a male artist who hates the way female artists in black music are positioned and treated with special frustrations going out to the rap business. I’m not really interested in spending time and money on sex objects rapping. I’m good on that in my personal life so why would I spend money on a woman playing a role that I already have filled? I want to see a female rapper rap about things men rap about but from their perspective. Let me be on the outside looking in so that I can be a fan and not just a guy wanting to have sex with what I see.
Lauryn Hill changed a lot back in 1998. I know it’s not popular to talk about our legends in glowing terms in hip-hop but I’m doing it anyway. Before she…changed…Lauryn Hill spoke to EVERYBODY. Don’t matter who you were, you felt that energy and it spoke to you somehow. She was #1 on Billboard but also #1 in terms of impact. She eclipsed her already major group The Fugees before Fergie and The Black Eyed Peas. She sang and rap on the same album – well. As a matter of fact, her bars were on par with male contemporaries and her singing was just beyond. Her message was universal. But this isn’t a Lauryn Hill piece, so let me slow down and talk about the pressure that Cardi B may or may not be under. I mean it’s all about perception right? If she doesn’t give a shit about it, then no pressure. 19 years after Lauryn, Cardi B made history but will it stop there as her story? Lemme explain.
I’ll keep it straight up and down: There’s still a lot of similarities to Nicki Minaj with Cardi B. They got that New York, abrasive, heavy voice rap style that’s more street than sweet. The difference is Cardi B didn’t come with all the gimmicks and extra voices and Barbie stuff. Nicki Minaj was a machine and made a lot of money and has a shitload of fans but Cardi B is closer to the ground and is more relatable. Nicki Minaj spit fire on “The Warning” instrumental, got some good buzz but clearly not enough and changed up some time after that while Cardi B CLEARLY reworked “No Flockin” by Kodak Black and is the presumed queen of rap. Crazy.
By the way: I don’t like how quick ya’ll crown the head of female rap as if the shit is the WWE title. Jesus, let us get more than Bodak Yellow or ShEther before we throwing out thrones and crowns. Nicki got it by default but she kept it by doing what she does. Stop that shit and support female rappers long enough for it to make sense to crown them.
By the way PT.2: Female rappers – stick around longer so I won’t sound stupid with that rant.
Back to business though, Cardi B can parlay this into changing the way things are going for female rappers. Remy Ma is here but she doesn’t have the buzz. Nicki is definitely still here but she’s, uhh, been through some things and we gotta see how she’ll come back out. The pressure is on and it can bust pipes or make diamonds. Riding the wave and dropping more hot songs before releasing an album BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE is key now. While the people care is the best time to drop that album and what the people care about is what Cardi B is doing and saying. She’s everything that these women on social media are saying they are and she’s rapping it out for them. Bodak Yellow hit a nerve that has been there but untapped in such a way and it didn’t matter if a female dropped it – it dominated. She went from stripping to social media personality to reality show star to buzzing rapper seemingly overnight. I think what should happen next is her team should rally around her and help create an album that helps dictate the direction and solidify female rap for the foreseeable future.
Cause I ain’t got time for no more Paris Hilton bullshit.
Author’s Note: Don’t come for me for inaccuracies or opinions or any of that shit. I SAID WHAT I SAID and I didn’t double check it because [insert whatever makes you feel better about it]. I love ya’ll though.