Bronx rapper Cardi B is undoubtedly the hot new girl on the block in female rap. Following Nicki Minaj’s ten-year reign on the throne as the self-proclaimed Queen of rap, when Cardi B broke onto the scene in 2017 with her debut single ‘Bodak Yellow’, it saw the start of a new era.
Since 2007, for the best part of a decade, Nicki Minaj remained unchallenged and reigned supreme over female rap. Although some female rappers, such as Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea, emerged during Minaj’s reign, both artists failed to garner the same amount of attention as Minaj and, as such, most definitely operated in her shadow.
Beginning her rise to fame as an Instagram personality around 2013 due to her bubbly nature, positive demeanour and infectious laugh, Cardi B quickly gained a legion of followers and, before long, was well passed one million followers.
With a passion for rap music and a large following, in 2016, she was cast in the American reality TV show Love & Hip hop: New York, which follows the social and love lives of aspiring and former rappers, DJs and radio personalities.
With such a large audience, Cardi gained even more popularity and, after entering a relationship with Offset of Migos, was signed to QC, an imprint of Atlantic Records. Here in conjunction with KSR Music Group, she released ‘Bodak Yellow’.
Released as the lead single for her 2018 album Invasion Of Privacy, the track debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for three weeks. This made Cardi B the second female rapper ever to reach number one with a solo song, with the only other artist achieving that feat being Lauryn Hill.
The fourth single from the album was ‘I Like It’, and this was a mega-hit. Produced by J. White alongside Craig Kallman, ‘I Like It’ is a Latin trap fusion track that combines elements from both hip hop and salsa music, making it very internationally palpable.
The song samples the 1967 track ‘I Like It like That’ by Tony Pabon and Pete Rodriguez and features extra acoustic instrumentation from session instrumentalists as well as digital production elements.
The song was written in 2017 but recorded in 2018 at The Cutting Room studios, a famous recording complex located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The song, upon its release, debuted at number one, which made Cardi B the first female rapper in history to have two solo singles debut at number one.
In an interview with Billboard Magzine, J. White explained the intention behind the track explaining “It’s just celebrating success, achievement, talking about what she likes. Pretty much, if you ain’t working, you ain’t eating. I had the opportunity to work with the great Craig Kallman on that record from Atlantic, and I worked with Tony as well, another amazing producer out of Miami. I think we made a great record that the world is going to really enjoy.”
The track’s music video was directed by Eif Rivera and was filmed on location in the Little Havana neighbourhood of Miami. Rivera spoke to Genius about the process of recording the music video stating, “We went down to this location in Miami called Calle Ocho. Cuban area, a lot of Cuban scenes and everything else. I found this one block that had enough elements in there that I knew could work. Then we came in and kind of dressed it up some more.”
Below you can hear ‘I Like It’ as well as watch the video and the making of the video.