“Our Lord and Savior, Cardi B.” That’s how one of the newest internet sensations, Belcalis “Cardi B.” Almanzar was introduced on the Breakfast Club last week. Originally a stripper expressing her unique worldviews across Instagram, Cardi B has overcome numerous obstacles that stood in her way to become one of the biggest entertainers in the past year. Funny, bold and unapologetic she has used her voice and crude humor to begin creating an empire. It was only a few months ago that the world received news that Cardi B would be a cast member on Love and Hip Hop New York. And she hasn’t stopped there, Cardi has since walked the runway during New York Fashion Week, been invited to host an MTV show with Charlamagne the God and held numerous conversations with famous director Lee Daniels. And to continue her ever growing empire, Cardi B. just released one of the most raunchy albums I’ve ever heard. And to make it even better, it doubles as one of the most unrepentantly feminist albums in recent memory.
Honestly, when I first opened Cardi’s “Gangsta B***h Music Vol. 1” I expected a joke. The few experiences I had with Cardi B and music had been less than pleasant and incredibly humorous for both myself and the hip hop world in general. So yes, I went into her new mixtape with very low expectations and even less anticipation. But I was met with a woman at her most relentless and her most brutal. I got the message loud and clear, “This isn’t for you”. Why wasn’t this album for me? Because I am a man and Cardi B has made a musical masterpiece that is almost exclusively reserved for women. Disadvantaged, women of color to be even more specific. And I was completely fine with that. Finally, a woman in hip hop did what was previously unimaginable. She made an album that is not for male consumption and it works extremely well.
With the exception of a few party bangers, Cardi B uses her 13 track mixtape to provide an honest look into the psyche of a woman doing whatever it is to make it in a male dominated world. She covers everything from love to domestic abuse and it all works because it’s Cardi’s truth. Along with thousands of other women. Songs like “Trust Issues” and “Selfish” are poignant and reflect on a woman’s responsibility to a man while “Her Perspective” is a powerful skit reflecting on domestic abuse and the mistreatment of strippers. Even songs like “I Gotta Hurt You”, an EDM dominated club song, oozes the pain and honesty that Cardi B exemplifies. Cardi B reflects on what it takes for a woman in her position to win in society and invites other women to do the same. It takes a boldness that many female hip hop artists have yet to obtain to be able to make such a powerful declaration in what is still a male dominated industry. And I salute her for it. Twerk on Cardi B and keep “making that shmoney.”