There are many reasons why trying out Cardi B was worth it other than my cheapness for a good jam.
She has the title of longest runner-up for number one solo female rapper, giving power to female artists everywhere. The song even knocked out Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” from the top of the Top Charts.
Cardi B grew up in Highbridge, a neighborhood located in the South Bronx section of New York City. As a teenager, she made money by joining gangs and becoming a stripper; later, she left these careers behind, making money by becoming an Instagram icon.
Her overall goal as an artist is to live the luxury life, which to her means making money and a strong following of fans. It is evident in “Bodak Yellow” that money is important to her. References are thrown left and right to give her fans a chance to know her in a deeper level, but can be easily missed if you don’t pay close attention.
She makes decisions on both her lyrics and video to summarily execute her purpose of her identity song “starting from the bottom now we’re here.”
The song opens up with Cardi B introducing herself like almost every other rapper. In her music video she is riding on camelback in the Middle East.
This image is controversial since she doesn’t come from Arab heritage. Her mother is of a Trinidadian background and father is from the Dominican Republic. She claims in an interview that she uses this scenario in Dubai because it is stereotyped as a place of money and man-made power.
As a powerful female, I understand where she is coming from and why she wanted to illustrate it in that way; however, by dressing in the cultural abaya dress and headscarf in a seductive, sexual way insults the culture. She could’ve still gotten the idea across without playing dress up.
Later in the video, she uses her clothes again to make a point. This time, she’s wearing a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, the pinnacle of expensive fashion.
The chorus sings, “these expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes,” emphasizing her riches.
By saying she can buy whatever she wants makes herself assertive that she can get whatever she wants on her own. If she can buy them without hesitation, she’s pretty rich.
Low key, she also uses these shoes as a reference to the Blood gang that she is linked to.
The shoes have red soles; like the color of blood. She uses the word “blood” a lot in her song in reference to her gang.
What makes her more independent is her distrust towards men; with good reason, she wants to cut off men and…. female dogs.
The lyric, “I don’t dance now, I make money moves. Say I don’t gotta dance, I make money move,” is a direct reference on her stripper life. Funny though in the music video she’s dancing with fake fire.
Next she sings, “If I see you and I don’t speak, that means I don’t f— with you. I’m a boss, you a worker, b—-, I make bloody moves,” referencing to her past beef with artists like Nicki Minaj and ex boyfriends.
Here she’s using the word “blood” again for her gang reference, but she’s also referencing the way she deals with drama. She’s a passive-aggressive Libra who, if you cross her path, you might just get shot and left red like her shoes.
Verse one comes to play and the entirety of it is her describing her career’s success; referencing two albums she produced in six months, more clothing lines she can afford, her new Ferrari car she can afford and even references her google ratings!
A stand out lyric from verse two one was when she sings, “got a bag and fixed my teeth, hope you hoes know it ain’t cheap” because she references her past again; she was bullied during her first rising as a star because she had less than perfect teeth. In an interview she was asked why she got surgery to fix her mouth and her response was strong. She says, “if you’re tired of people talking about you then go and fix it. It’s our right to fix it and why not go for the best.”
In the music video she even shows off her teeth a lot, presumably to brag about them.
In verse two, she goes deeper into her past. When she sings, “If you a p—-, you get popped, you a groupie, you a opp,” she is referencing her gang life. She grew up in the South Bronx, and if you know nothing about that region and had to google it like I did, you’d know the area has neighborhoods known for it’s struggle of violence, crimes and poverty.
Verse two mostly consists of lyrics referring to her gang life; people fearing her with her gun on her hip or jealousy eating them away because of her riches.
Her confidence blows my mind but understandable as she threatens anyone and everyone throughout her song and music video she surrounds herself with money, bling and parties.
She puts the issue on her own hands and changes not for others but because she wants to be the best. Take her advice: “If people are hating on you shut them up by doing what they wanted. Haters won’t hate if there’s nothing to hate.”
Who wouldn’t be confident with Cardi B’s lifestyle?