Pop Culture with Tatiana


Cardi B: where she’s at today and what happened in 2020

Like this article if you’ve ever found yourself doing miscellaneous chores or activities and suddenly you started to mouth to yourself “there’s some hoes in this house”, or if you’ve been sat in PJ’s on your couch during lockdown and suddenly, very appropriately, started to say “certified freak, seven days a week”, or of course if you’ve shied away from playing “WAP” in your car when your parents were there! Many music fans have asked themselves, “WAP” was one of the biggest songs of 2020, why didn’t Cardi B follow up with more? Why no live performances? Where’s that follow up album to “Invasion of Privacy”? And of course, what is she up to now? Let’s discuss.

Let’s begin with the latest, Cardi B has landed her first ever starring role in a motion picture. The film, produced by Paramount Pictures, will be titled “Assisted Living” and is set to be a “raucous comedy” with “tremendous heart”. The story is about Amber (played by our dear Belcalis herself) who’s into petty crimes, until she involves herself in a heist that gets out of control. Her character then seeks refuge away from the police, in an elderly persons home where her estranged grandmother lives. Then as we can imagine, hilarity ensues.

The synopsis reminds me of classic “disguise” comedies such as “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and “Sister Act”, and I believe Cardi’s personality will bode well with this kind of role. At the end of the day, rappers are no strangers to “putting on a facade” and costumes, to sell their music, especially Cardi B. She’s also famous for her humour on Instagram, her comedic mannerisms, her well-marketed catchphrases (“Okurrrrr”) and of course her outfits (rapping is a given for the purposes of this blog post). Cardi has had minor roles in films such as “Hustlers”, where she played a stripper but then again she was a stripper in real life, and in F9, the upcoming “Fast and Furious” film. But this is her first starring role in an original movie. I am very much looking forward to seeing this film.

Cardi B made the news in 2020

Cardi B made a lot of entertainment news in 2020. She announced she was in the process of divorcing her husband (Migos rapper Offset) for the second time, saying this time was final, and then she DID NOT divorce him like at all, they were not even separated for a little while. Publicity stunt? maybe, we can never know what the marketing god’s plans are.

She was also very involved in the 2020 US presidential elections, she was an adamant supporter of the democratic party, she supported Bernie Sanders, and then Joe Biden, who she famously interviewed, and made numerous videos in English and her native Spanish (she’s originally from the Dominican Republic) encouraging youngsters to register to vote.

We also remember her for her hilarious instagram lives during the first global lockdown of 2020. I must admit they were very welcome at times when we were all locked up at home.


The tidal wave that was “WAP”

As the year progressed, and everyone was stuck at home, Hip Hop fans longed for new music from the rapper, her last single was “Press” which was released in May of 2019. and boy did we get what we asked for!

On August 3rd 2020, she announced she’d be releasing “WAP” featuring Houston-born rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Side note; this blog is (mostly) family friendly, so I will not spell out what WAP stood for but I am sure you know. She released the sexually graphic song on August 7th, along with the video which was filmed using a censored version of the song. Lyrically, Cardi B and Megan are just spewing sexual metaphor after another, accompanied with a heavy bass and samples from Franki Ski’s 1993 single “Whores in this house”. Listeners could interpret the song as comedic, fun, upbeat, sexy and light hearted, or as offensive. Nevertheless, the song debuted at number one on the prestigious Billboard hot 100 chart.

New York Times critic Jon Caramnica put it perfectly, it was “an event record that transcends the event itself”. The lyrics are sexually explicit and the video and innuendos are graphic, so I understand why conservative individuals would find it offensive. I can also understand why people find it demeaning for women, but I believe it is the completely opposite. Male rapper are almost ALWAYS talking about their d****, how she “get on that d****”, how she “put that booty on that Gucci Belt”, how she “suck a N*** d**** or somethin” etc. and we accept it, we listen to it, we stream the records. So why shouldn’t women freely be able to do the same? Men talk about their sexual pleasure all the time, and suddenly it is offensive when women do it? I am not saying every woman should, but every woman should feel she can if she wants too. and Thank you Cardi and Megan for empowering women within this discussion. Also let’s be honest, the song is FUN AS HELL! Please if you have any comments or ideas about this, let’s discuss in the comments down below.

The song almost has 330 million views on Youtube as of today, and the song has too many accolades to list; it debuted at number one on Spotify and Apple Music. It also went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart and stayed there for four consecutive weeks. Cardi B extending her record as the female rapper with the most number-one singles (Yes guys much more than Nicki Minaj but that is for a whole other article). “WAP” was the most streamed song of 2020 in the US by a female artist. And this brings us to our next section.

Why no Grammy nomination?

Fans and critics were surprised when Cardi B was nominated for ZERO Grammys despite WAP’s success. She almost always expresses her opinions and this time was no different. While it seemed like a snub on the Grammys part, she explained that she simply did not want to submit the song for consideration. Why? She explained; “”I didn’t want to be submitted to award shows until I put out my album because I think my album is so good. It means something and I worked on it a lot. I’ve been working on it for almost two years.”

One of the most highly anticipated albums of 2021

Cardi’s upcoming album, which is rumoured to be titled “Tiger Woods” is without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated Hip Hop albums of 2021 (Also Drake where is this “Certified Lover Boy” you keep teasing?). One of the reasons Cardi B did not release her album in 2020 is because she was in an ongoing legal battle with her former manager. In December of 2020, the battle came to a end. Basically her former manager, Kleonard Raphael, sued her for breach of contract when she signed to husband Offset’s label Quality Control, and also claimed he was the one who landed her a role on Reality TV show “Love and Hip Hop” and produced her breakthrough hit “Bodak Yellow”. Cardi then countersued, accusing Raphael of breaching their contract by taking bigger cuts of her earnings illegally, thereby withholding her money from her. It is understood that she is owed more than 30 million US dollars.

Cardi B triumphed and the case has been definitely closed. So needless to say, we are very excited to hear and see what’s about to come from the rapper.

Side projects

In the meantime, Cardi has been keeping herself, and her fans, entertained. Her regular Instagram lives and twitter debates are very popular. She recently held an impromptu Q&A on Twitter detailed how much her music videos have cost. She says WAP cost one million US dollars to make, with more than 100 000 USD spent on COVID tests for the cast and crew.

She shared a lot more anecdotes, even saying that she had a horrible day the day she filmed the “I like it” video with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, because she was feeling hot and the paparazzi were being annoying.

In other news, she also partnered up with Facebook Messenger to release an 8-episode series called “Cardi tries”. It is self explanatory, it is Cardi B trying things she’s never done before. The episodes are about fifteen minutes, featuring the Cardi we all love in all her with and glorious humour, trying out activities such as ballet, sushi-making and basketball. She seems very comfortable with this format, which is not surprising as she started out as in Reality TV before becoming a huge Hip Hop star.

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