Why Cardi B is the most important person of 2017.

I woke up to the news that Cardi had won the entire BET awards on October 7th, THE WHOLE THING. Lexi thought it was very important this be the first thing she told me because she feels as deeply about Cardi’s win as I do. First things first, I put the screenshot on my Whatsapp story, followed up with a few Cardi snaps and then ran to Facebook to share the great news with the rest of the world. She won 4 of the 8 awards she was nominated for:

Best New Hip Hop Artist.

Hustler of the year.

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)

Best Mixtape for Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2


Disclaimer: I don’t believe in awards. The awards mentioned here framed my thinking around Cardi’s greatness. Is this biased? Yes, yes it is.


First of all, she is a woman of colour from a less than privileged background who got the world’s attention

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A ‘regular-degularshmegular girl from the Bronx‘ who got the world to pay attention. It feels as if women of colour are always fighting to be noticed. Serena Williams still hasn’t, explicitly, been named the world’s best tennis player, across the board. A win for one of us is a win for all women of colour. Her existence is affirmative to regular girls everywhere.

From the pole to the internet to clubs, to iTunes accounts and headsets all around the world to the top of the Billboard charts by the age of 25. The internet is not an easy place to survive and she used it as a tool and now she’s a bigger deal than your mothers stir Fry-days.  To the “we’re supporting her music, it’s not about race” squad, it’s always about race and even more it’s about class. A lot of the time in these “woke” circles we find ourselves being exclusionary and classist. Yes, words like ratchet and “that’s ghetto” are problematic and are a sign of a mental slavery. So when do the ratchet girls get a seat at the table? Miley Cyrus got all our money when she stuck her tongue out in pictures but the rules are different when its one of our own. No thanks.

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Second of all, she made a song that we will sing to our kids when they ask us what music we listened to in 2017


“Bodak Yellow” beat Lauren Hill’s “Doo-wop” for the longest-running No. 1 single from a solo woman rapper even with the likes of Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma.

Best new hip-hop artist? More like, the most influential woman of colour in the biggest genre of music in the world.

No further questions.

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 More from Siphumelele Chagwe




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