If you’re a hip hop fan or reality TV fan and you haven’t heard Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”, then you must’ve been living under a rock these past couple weeks. Using Kodak Black’s “No Flockin” flow for inspiration, Cardi B has created what fans of the genre could deem a rap masterpiece.
The song asserts Cardi B’s presence as a female rapper in a male dominated industry, as well as her ability to overcome the degrading and misogynistic labels that were associated to her name for being an ex-stripper. With this song, Cardi breaks free from her controversial role on the hit show Love and Hip-Hop, emerging as the new and revamped version of herself she is now portraying.
Since its release, the song has done extremely well by topping music charts, gaining the attention of OG hip-hop artists, such as P. Diddy and DJ Khaled, and by receiving a great amount of media attention, mostly positive. With this in mind, there has been a number of people, mainly men, who are criticizing Cardi B for wanting to step into the rap game, using her past as a stripper to deny her musical talents any credibility.
Unfortunately, this is a frequent and reoccurring issue in the rap industry for women. In fact, rapper Rick Ross, who has rapped about drug raping women, recently stated he would need to have sex with a woman if he signed her to his label:
That’s right, men aren’t even willing to support women in helping them pursue their career unless they can get sex out of it. This same narrative is also applied to one of the most popular female rappers in the world today, Nicki Minaj. Instead of giving Minaj credit for her talent and ability to stay on top in a male dominated industry, many have stated that she’s simply famous because of her looks or because of who she slept with to get to the top. This is an obvious case of misogynoir where Black women do not and will not get the credit they deserve when they step out of the stereotypical roles set for them by society and black men. This is because even though Cardi and other black women are simply hustling, when you’re a woman of colour, especially a black one at that, and you have sex appeal, many people assume that you’ve slept your way to the top. Why? Because apparently, black women won’t make it otherwise.
If we take a look at some men’s opinions on Twitter regarding Cardi B, we can see just how prevalent misogynoir is in today’s society,
Cardi B trash and if you can relate you a hoe 😂🕺🏾
— BigDaddy-Flip (@FilipeTerry) August 8, 2017
There are cardi b fans? Ya some cornballs. She is straight up trash. As a person and as a rapper. What's up with this hoe worship nowadays?
— Alejandro (@ramblenation) August 8, 2017
If u listen to cardi b you a hoe
— BACKWOODBHRIS (@BACKWOODBHRIS) August 8, 2017
Based off these tweets, if a woman listens to a black feminist icon’s music, apparently that makes her a “hoe”. Cardi herself has stated that it’s honestly mostly men that will say she’s not a feminist when in reality she is and she knows it.
You should listen to me because two years ago I was in an apartment in the Bronx that had mice in the hallway. Look where I’m at now. How is that not inspirational? I wasn’t sucking dick for it, I ain’t suck dick to be here. A lot of people want to believe that but I didn’t. No nigga that I ever fucked did anything for me. They just gave me dick; they didn’t do anything for my career. […] Everything I get it by myself. How is that not inspirational?
Fortunately, unlike many other female artists who are afraid to use the F word, Cardi has been extremely vocal about it. Additionally, Cardi stated that she’s not here to tell women to become strippers or to sleep their way to the top, instead she’s telling them “to find a niche and make the best out of [themselves] and make money out of it.”
Cardi B is a true feminist icon and her music bops. Her music shows she’s here to stay and I truly believe she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.