Cardi B has spent years at the top of the rap totem pole as she’s garnered obsessive fans, magazine covers, and countless accolades.
On Tuesday, the Bronx rapper received yet another accolade, her hit single “Bodak Yellow” became certified diamond by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). This makes Cardi the first female rapper with a song to achieve this monumental certification. The breakout song has raked in at least 10 million equivalent units in the U.S.
“Bodak Yellow” dropped in the summer of 2017, that year the track went on to be heard everywhere: the radio, BBQs, throwbacks, and day parties. To be clear Cardi B had already garnered a bustling fanbase due to her raw personality she showcased on her Instagram and on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop New York. She didn’t seemingly appear out of thin air.
Musically, she’d been releasing indie mixtapes like her acclaimed Gangsta Bitch Vol. 1 (2016). Looking back, the track “Foreva” has hints of what allowed her to catapult to the centerpiece of the female rap game: a catchy hook and aggressive bars. The follow-up Gangsta Bitch Vol. 2 (2017) featured appearances by Offset, who is now her husband, and New York rapper Casanova. “Lick” was an undeniable hit. The month after she unveiled the follow-up to her first project, she signed her first major deal with Atlantic Records.
In September of 2017, “Bodak Yellow” dropped and the music industry crowned its rap queen. A few months after the track arrived it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It stayed at the top of that acclaimed chart for three weeks.
Invasion of Privacy, her debut album on Atlantic arrived in April of 2018. The release centered on many facets of Cardi B’s rap persona. It featured hardcore rap tracks “Get Up 10” and “Bickenhead” and pop-centric singles like “I Like It” with J. Balvin and Bad Bunny. The latter which received a fitting visual went on to land No. 1 on the Hot 100.
During the pandemic, Cardi seemed to be laying low. But we now know she was cooking up the genius Ayo & Keyz-produced banger “WAP” featuring Houston’s Megan Thee Stallion. That energetic track which broke the internet thanks to its explicit lyrics made her the only female rapper with the most Hot 100 chart-toppers.
“I Like It” could be on its way to becoming diamond certified, at the moment, it’s nine-times platinum. If she accomplishes this feat, she’ll be the first female rapper to earn two diamond plaques.
From “Bodak Yellow” to “Up” and every song between, the Bronx artist hasn’t swayed from creating the type of music that she herself enjoys. That’s proven to work tremendously well for her, especially when you combine her witty bars with her stunning visuals and the looks dreamed up by her longtime wardrobe stylist Kollin Carter. Female rappers have aimed to copy Cardi B’s path, but it’s clear, her journey is solely hers.
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