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 five best Cardi B tracks:
Released in early 2021, ‘UP’ was produced by Yung Dza and topped the charts as soon as it hit streaming platforms. The single, which is going to be featured on her upcoming second album, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best Rap Performance’.
4. ‘Money’, Invasion Of Privacy (2018)
One of many Cardi tracks produced by J. White, ‘Money’ was released as the single for Cardi’s debut Grammy-Award-winning album, Invasion Of Privacy.
The production of ‘Money’ is incredibly simple and catchy. Unlike other singles that Cardi released for her debut album, ‘Money’ did not land in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at 13. Regardless, as of 2022, The track is quadruple-times-platinum.
3. ‘WAP’ ft Megan Thee Stallion, (2020)
Released during the height of a global pandemic, ‘WAP’, which is an acronym for ‘Wet-Ass P*ssy’, was a highly sexual track that received mixed reviews. It was an extremely polarising track. ‘WAP’ stirred up a lot of controversies and received a fair bit of backlash. However, some music critics hailed it as a feminist masterpiece.
Centred around sex, many listeners felt that Cardi reducing a woman’s being to only her sexual promiscuity would be extremely damaging to women in the long run. However, on the contrary, many looked at the song from an empowerment angle.
Irrespective of its critics, ‘WAP’ was catchy and, produced by Ayo the Producer, alongside Keyz, makes ingenious use of Frank Ski’s 1993 Baltimore club anthem, ‘Hoes in This House’. On a winning streak, ‘WAP’ gave Cardi B her fourth number one.
2. ‘I Like It’, Invasion Of Privacy (2018)
2018’s ‘I Like It’ 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 is undoubtedly one of Cardi’s best and most successful tracks. Upon its release, the song debuted at number one, which made Cardi B the first female rapper in history to have two solo singles debut at number one!
1. ‘Bodak Yellow’, Invasion Of Privacy (2018)
Her debut single! Released on Atlantic Records in collaboration with KSR music group, ‘Bodak Yellow’ really is an amazing song. While it might not be the peak of lyricism or consciousness, it is pretty hard to deny that it is a not only catchy but extremely well-composed track.
Produced by J. White and mixed by Michael Ashby, ‘Bodak Yellow’ is sonically amazing. Every element is so perfectly fitted, and Cardi sounds amazing on it. The track is ominous and aggressive, and with the music video shot in Dubai, it really goes above and beyond in every aspect.
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.