Biography: Hailing from The Bronx, once a stripper, and now one of the biggest personalities in pop culture, Cardi first rose to fame circa 2015 as a social media presence and cast member on Love & Hip-Hop: New York. While still appearing on the VH1 series, she released her first pair of mixtapes (Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 & 2), collaborating with such artists as Offset and Josh X and establishing her aggressive rap style. Although her first release didn’t gain much traction, her second mixtape was soon followed by her first major recording contract with Atlantic Records in early 2017. This milestone was soon followed by an uptick in live appearances, as well as a BET Awards nomination for Best New Artist (lost to Mayor Chance).
Riding this momentum, Cardi released her first proper single in the summer of 2017, “Bodak Yellow”, which would go on to climb the charts, eventually reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, thus dethroning Taylor Swift and becoming the first female rapper to reach the top of the chart on a solo release since Ms. Lauryn Hill in 1998. This success was followed by various successful collaborations (e.g., Migos - Motorsport; Bruno Mars - Finesse), and finally, in April 2018, her first major label album - Invasion of Privacy. The album was received with critical acclaim (“Best New Music” y todo), and featured vast collaborations with artists including SZA, YG, and Chance the Rapper. Perhaps most notably was the trap-salsa single, “I Like It”, which features reggaeton veteran J Balvin, as well as rising-star Bad Bunny. This track marked Cardi’s second number one single, and made her the lone female rapper to put out multiple number one singles.
Since Invasion of Privacy (which is now certified Double Platinum), Cardi has stayed busy. She’s given birth to her first baby, Kulture, co-hosted the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, topped Album of the Year lists left and right, and is set to rake in a Grammy or two next month. Time will tell where her career goes next, but for now, in her own words … her “little 15 minutes lasting long as hell, huh?”
Major Discography:Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 (2016), Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2 (2017), Invasion of Privacy (2018)
Similar Artists: Lil’ Kim, Remy Ma, Trina
Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Nah, there will be nothing else like her on the farm lol.
My only experience with her is via stream. If you have time, I recommend watching at least part of her Coach set from last year. She’s got a cool stage set up, dancers, and she actually raps all of her lines (most of the time without a backing vocal track). Mix of live instrumentation and back track, loads of energy, and tons of fun. Also worth noting she was only slotted for 35 minutes, so it wasn’t this short because she came out late or something like that. At the end of the day, I can say with confidence that her show will be a good time if nothing else.
- Per an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the nickname, “Cardi B”, is inspired by Bacardi liquor - more specifically, growing up, a lot of people called her Bacardi as a pairing to her sister’s birth name, Hennessy. When her instagram accounts were repeatedly deleted, she suspected it had something to do with copyright (lol), and switched up her name as a result. Thus, “Cardi B”.
- Cardi holds two Guinness World Records; one for most simultaneous Billboard Hot 100 entries by a female (13), and another for most Hip-Hop/R&B Top 10 entries (5).
- At the age of 16, Cardi joined the Bloods, but has since been vocal about denouncing gang affiliation in general.
- Her father is Dominican, and her mother Trinidadian. With “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi became the first person of Dominican descent to top the Hot 100.
She’s a top 3 act for me, and was a huge left field booking that did a lot for my personal opinion of the lineup (and, beyond that, she saves Sunday imo). For one, I think her music is legit. But, even if you don’t love her music, I also think the one aspect about her that’s undeniable is that she’s an entertaining person - that should 100% translate to her live performance. Furthermore, I feel like there’s no celebrity whose as genuine and honest in the way she presents herself, and I appreciate that about her. What you see is what you get, and I’m excited to see and hear the reigning Queen of Rap in person.