Cardi wasn’t sure it was good — she even asked a reporter to take a listen, unsure of what she had.Released in June, “Bodak Yellow” moved to Spotify’s influential Rap Caviar playlist in July, which helped bring it to open-car-window ubiquity sometime in the hottest months of the year.Or, in Cardi’s own words: “It makes you feel like a bad bitch. 1 spot — two weeks before she won five of the nine BET awards she was nominated for, including Hustler of the Year — everyone wanted a piece of the Cardi moment.It gives you this self-esteem,” a pickup, even for her. Lyft capitalized by offering riders a code named for her fan club, Bardi Gang, that turned all the cars on the app’s map into graphics of her face and nail art.She knows that raw, unfiltered Cardi at its Cardi-est — the one-liners delivered in a thick, long-voweled, uptown-hewn Spanish accent, the vulgarity, the percussive cackles she uses as punctuation, the self-awareness combined with the unself-consciousness about her flesh — is right now the most exciting product not just in hip-hop but in all of pop culture.Cardi B is, considered one way, only the latest bombastic, came-up-on-a–New York–block female rapper to fascinate the world with her sharp lyrics, sharp six-inch acrylics, and grab-you-by-the-balls sexuality.
Atlantic Records threw her a party in its midtown offices.And as Cardi booty-pops and modified-merengues her way through “Bodak” on the stage, resplendent in her Technicolor glory, in that coat she says makes her look “like a motherfucking chicken,” I notice a middle-aged white woman in a cable-knit sweater, raising the roof emphatically to a hard-ass hood hit.“I don’t dance now, I make money moves.” It’s a bildungsroman in two lines, a lyric that’s both a useful summary of Cardi B’s career arc and the hook to “Bodak Yellow.” It was a slow-building-groundswell record, not one that was manufactured by a Swedish hit-bot in selvedge denim but one that started with Cardi fooling around over the top of a song, “No Flockin’,” by rapper Kodak Black.She’s done it at least five times this week, and it’s only Wednesday. ” She’s precisely dressed in hot-pink, vintage-Chanel sunglasses — clout goggles, as they’re known on style blogs — and a costume that shows off her urban-strip-club Jessica Rabbit form: a hot-pink sequined bandeau top, matching high-waisted pants, and a hot-pink feathered coat.In late September, with an assist from an online fan campaign, Cardi unseated Taylor Swift from her carefully plotted slot atop the popcharts, making Cardi the first solo female rapper in two decades to have a No. Her wig of the day, long and black, is flat-ironed to the gloss and fluidity of an oil spill. 2,” Cardi quietly responds to the flat-screen TV in her dressing room, a surge of anxiety in her voice.
(Cardi isn’t shy about discussing cosmetic alteration; in one memorable radio interview, she gave a play-by-play account of the basement butt injections she’d gotten.) “Ay, stop, that’s too light! ” she asks her publicist Patientce Foster, before mimicking the noise.