Cardi B has taken the throne. With her newest single, “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B rose to No. 1 on the Billboard 100 chart on Sept. 25. Other than the fact that she dethroned Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”—which had been at the top of the chart for three weeks—her achievement has also been widely discussed and praised for its significance. Not only is Cardi B the first Latina to top it in a decade, she is also the first female solo rapper to top the chart in twenty years.
As a successful Latina in the American hip-hop industry, Cardi B has been praised for setting an important example of confidence and success. While hip-hop is often considered a genre of music dominated by men, Cardi B is praised for ultimately breaking through such a bias.
“I think Cardi B’s achievement is wonderful,” said Yoon Lim (11), a feminist interested in music. “It is always great to see diversity, and especially women thriving in any field. I love how she is not bogged down by the prejudice that hip-hop is for men in the hood.”
Her supporters call her album’s record ranking an important moment in the feminist movement, as well as an important milestone in bringing Latinas into the hip-hop industry. In fact, many find her achievement to be inspirational for aspiring musicians who do not fit into the stereotype of a hip-hop artist.
“I definitely respect her for working in a very male-dominated field of music of hip hop,” said Minyoung Huh (10), a student rooting for minority musicians. “She has been through a lot and has been so strong. I think we need more women of color who are comfortable and confident with themselves and prospering in what they do.”
However, Cardi B has also been under fire due to her controversial statements. Recently, the artist has been accused of calling Kim Jong-Un “Wonton soup.” She has also been swept into a controversy regarding her use of the term “roach” in calling people of color. Although she denies that the term bears any racist meaning, her words have still stirred some controversy in the public eye.. While her recent album broke significant records, her statements have come off as offensive to some.
“While Cardi B’s achievement is significant, she has been accused of making some controversial statements,” Ashley Choi (10) said. “I think we need to recognize that her comments about people with dark skin and her comment about Kim Jong-Un are, in fact, problematic. That is not to say that those comments make her achievements less significant, but I think it is important that we make sure offensive statements also get the criticism they deserve.”
Despite her controversial statements, many fans are rooting for Cardi B’s future as a hip-hop artist. Her record as the first Latina in decades to top the Billboard 100 is praised as a seed that the industry can expand its diversity upon.
“There is no doubt that Cardi B’s success with her album is a significant achievement,” said Joshua Hahn (10), a hip-hop fanatic. “I do not think the controversy over her statements should cancel out her achievements. Maybe she will set a precedent for a more diverse population of successful hip-hop artists in the future.”