Earlier this month, rapper Cardi B’s smash hit "Bodak Yellow" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it currently remains. In reaching number one, Cardi B made history, becoming the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill in 1998 to have a number one solo hit. This surprise hit of the summer has elevated itself over a multitude of similar trap anthems with many lauding it as an uplifting, inspirational and empowering statement.
There have always been female rappers, but recently none other than Nicki Minaj have been able to establish themselves as A-list stars. However, Cardi B seems poised to become one of hip-hop’s next superstars. After coming onto the music scene in 2015, making noise with her two "Gangsta Bitch Music" mixtapes and finding some chart success with "Lick," featuring Migos member Offset, she released "Bodak Yellow," which is now certified double platinum.
Part of what made the song blow up the way it did was Cardi B’s intense and boastful personality that came through on the track.
“She’s such a personality and so bold, I think it’s the same reason people like Kodak or like Lil Pump blow up, because they really own what they do and she was really bold about like, ‘This is who I am, imma say whatever I wanna say on the record, imma challenge some of your ideas, like some of the norms,’” said junior Nicho Stevens, co-president of UNC’s Student Hip Hop Organization.
Her strong persona not only makes for entertaining music, but can also be a source of inspiration for others. Senior Rachel Maguire, co-editor of UNC’s feminist magazine "Siren," explained her take on the inspirational undertone of the song.