This was some black girl shit.
In front of a raucous crowd tucked into the lobby of Atlantic Records’ New York office on Monday, Cardi B, newly minted as the first female rapper in 19 years to top the Billboard Hot 100 without any other credited artists, set her champagne flute on the stairs and shouted out her community.
“All of my friends, everybody I grew up with, my family, my gang — everybody posted so I could go number one,” she said. “Everyday harassing they followers like ‘Make sure you download and stream Bodak Yellow!’” Then she hit a slight whine and started dancing and crooning: “And ‘look what you made me do, look what you made me do, look what you made me do.’ Oh my God! I’m so excited!”
She’d knocked Taylor Swift off the top of the charts, and now she was spiking the football, by quoting the song that hers had supplanted: “Look What You Made Me Do.”
And look what Cardi had done: a non-respectable black girl from the hood, talking in a thick Santo-Domingo-by-way-of-the South-Bronx accent, had booted the biggest name in music from the No. 1 spot, overcoming a corporate marketing campaign designed to ensure Taylor’s song dominated the charts. “Bodak Yellow” is an anthem dedicated to the grit, perseverance and triumph of black womanhood, and in hitting No. 1 over Swift’s expression of betrayal, the story of the song fulfilled the aspirations of its lyrics.
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