In ESENDOM, Nelson Santana reviews Cardi B, her meteoric rise in the music scene, and her impact across cultures:
The multi-talented artist, Cardi B, continues to surpass expectations through her continued shattering of the glass ceiling. On Tuesday, Billboard published an article announcing that the 24-year-old became the first rapper—including both men and women—to land three consecutive Top 10 singles in Billboard’s Hot 100. To put this gargantuan feat into perspective: not Jay Z, not Beyoncé, not Mariah Carey, not Elvis Presley, nor Michael Jackson ever accomplished it; only the Beatles and Ashanti have done it, meaning that Cardi B is only the third act do so.
Of Dominican and Trinidadian descent, Cardi B’s notoriety in the music scene is having meaningful impact thus creating ripple effects across cultures. The American artist burst onto the scene with her music and style, impacting a multitude of communities including African American, Caribbean, and mainstream U.S. culture. Her popularity continues in the tradition of Caribbean-descended artists who previously burst onto the mainstream including Bob Marley (Jamaica), Grandmaster Flash (Barbados), Wyclef Jean (Haiti), Rihanna (Barbados), Nicki Minaj (Trinidad), and Anthony Romeo Santos(Dominican Republic). Proud of her Dominican roots, Cardi B recently announced in Spanish via Instagram that she is open to recording with Fefita La Grande, the most popular female artist in Dominican history.
There are certain qualities that attribute to Cardi B’s meteoric rise to fame. First, she is as real as one can get, meaning that although she controls her own destiny including what she allows to filter to the public, she is someone who provides a lens for the world to see her, including during private or intimate moments. Whether through her own lyrics or via interview, Cardi B has no qualms about discussing her time as an erotic dancer. In fact, she inspires people—especially women and girls—through her personal life story. Cardi B is proof that one does not need to be ashamed about the line of work one is in, especially if it is about putting food on the table. Also, she has proven that when the chips are down, one just needs to set goals and eventually overcome whatever obstacles stand in one’s way. For example, she was kicked out of her parents’ home, yet overcame that adversity.
Perhaps the greatest quality to Cardi B is her uniqueness, as she is not someone who can easily be squeezed into a box—nor would she allow it! Her multicultural background as Dominican and Trinidadian (child of immigrants), her bilingualism, and experience as a New Yorker are a major component of her identity. The combination of her identity just makes her relatable to so many people. [. . .]