After a tight race to number one the ‘Bodak Yellow’ rapper beat ruthless Taylor Swift to the finish line for an unprecedented certified platinum. This feat positions Cardi B as the first solo female rapper to reach the top of the charts without features in nearly 19 years since Lauryn Hill’s ‘Doo Wop/That Thing’. She joins the ranks of the only five female rappers to top the charts, including Lauryn Hill, Lil Kim, Shawna, and Iggy Azalea.
Cardi B has publically spoken about her past ventures in sex work; a career which allowed her to escape an abusive relationship. This story of hope and liberation makes the Bronx MC’s feats even more significant as they pertain to this gender divided climate in rap music and politics, wherein lie the gatekeepers of a boy’s club that would not want an independent black female rapper to accomplish what she did. In an industry that uses women like Cardi as props more often than not. But nevertheless, she won, proving that there is a considerable market for unapologetically boss female artists like Cardi B, who are running shit despite the misogynistic standards of other rappers, critics, producers, industry insiders, and consumers.
Despite the vicious nature of the media that perpetually seeks to pit female artists against each other, Cardi has been relatively welcomed with open arms by fellow female rappers such as Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj, who both congratulated the new star.
“Every single female rapper congratulated me today. Is the best feeling cause I listened to all of them”, Cardi B tweeted in her euphoric post-win state.
Perhaps this marks a new era of independent female rappers to come. There’s always another young woman out there who is watching and taking notes.