“I Don’t Gotta Dance - I Make Money Moves!”: Cardi B's Success in the Music Industry

Admit it, you sang that title. Cardi B’s debut hit single, “Bodak Yellow” echoes through every function, uniting shades of ebony everywhere as they chorus in syncopated rhythm, the song that changed the life of a ‘regular shmegular’ girl from the Bronx, forever.

Cardi B’s success story isn’t your typical ‘rags to riches’ plotline. Her story includes, most notably, her achievement in becoming the first female artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998 to single-handedly top the Billboard Hot 100 list. Her hit song claimed every stereo and unless you hid under a rock all summer 2017, you heard Cardi B’s affirmations daily (as if we had a choice), blasting through car radios, parties and even many events here, at the Florida State University.

Her fame and glory seem to have erupted out of nowhere. Some may have recognized her, pre-fame on Instagram or other social networks. She took to Instagram to document her blunt rhetoric in minute-long clips that Instagram would permit. Humbly, she never failed to remind her growing fan base that after all, no matter what and regardless of her follower count, she is just “a regular, shmegular” girl (yeah, OK Cardi). Obviously, as it turns out, she had much more to offer than the social media personality that millions fell in love with. Landing a number one hit with her first single, I think it’s fair to agree that her drive and hustle granted her a well-deserved jackpot.

Cardi owes a lot of her success to the subcategory of what hip-hop has branched off to in recent years: trap music. This is what has taken root in our generation and what is being offered up as music that several routinely digest. This platform of trap genre served as Cardi’s stage to tell her testimony. Embedded in the lyrics of “Bodak Yellow,” one can hear the attestations of a girl who once had nothing, that rose to each occasion, with every opportunity given to her (and the ones that she just had to take) to get her where she is right now.

Courtesy: www.glamourama.cl

Three weeks spent on Billboards credited her to be not only the first female since Lauryn Hill to make it to the charts on her own but also took her from the status of the verbose Dominicana who had no filter on Instagram, to the girl who now also scored the longevity record on Billboards. How’s that for a success story?

Courtesy: Giphy​

As it turns out, this is just the beginning. Cardi B is a culmination of her family’s support and her personal drive and determination to succeed. From cheap lottery tickets in hopes of landing a victorious win of sorts, from a seemingly promising stripping pole that would make it rain money, from a reality show character to a successful, fierce and relentless diva that took no roadblock as a failure- Perhaps it is not so bad that we had to hear her single all summer long. Don’t front. Perhaps if we had stories that resembled Cardi’s, we too, would make sure everyone heard it - over and over again until it was ingrained in the memories of anyone that doubted, that “I don’t dance now, I make MONEY moves!”