Why I am Inspired By Cardi B. Even Though I Didn’t Know She Existed a Month Ago

We were all spread throughout our Airbnb in Washington D.C., getting ready for the first bachelorette-party activity of the weekend when the next song started playing through the TV… One of the girl’s squealed in excitement and made her way from the bathroom to the living room to use as her dance floor. I’d never heard the song before, but she was hype, and the other girls quickly followed suit. If I wasn’t familiar with the song up until this point, I had nothing to fear, for it would play approximately 40 more times that weekend. The song was Bodak Yellow by Cardi B. Little did I know the impact it was having on the rest of the U.S.

Some of you may be surprised that I hadn’t heard of her sooner. And what I want to say to you is: don’t judge me. I’ve never watched an episode of Love and Hiphop a day in my life (which I learned she originally became widely known for). I also don’t really choose to listen to rap music. I much prefer the likes of Corrine Bailey Rae, SZA, Solange, and Willow. Bodak Yellow is definitely one of those songs though that I turn up the volume to when it comes on. The lyrics are powerful, visceral, and resonate with every listener in some kind of way. While watching her music video for the song, I skimmed through the comments section and discovered the “this song makes me wanna…” thread, proving my point.

“This song makes me wanna call Pizza Hut & ask to speak with Papa John for the nearest Domino’s”

“This song makes me wanna loan Oprah money.”

“This song makes me want to make tell my dog to feed me.”

“This song makes me call 911 and ask them if they need help.”

While the song is great and can bring out the bad-ass-ery in anyone, the real reason I am inspired by Cardi has to do with who she is as a person.

Someone mentioned I should look Cardi up on Instagram, that she had some hilarious videos. So I did, and I was not disappointed. I found myself binge watching her rants and stumbled across interviews she’s had that people shared on Facebook. Below is one of my favorite moments from her. A newfound love and appreciation for the artist was forming, and it seemed I wasn’t alone. She’s been featured on websites like Vogue, Time, Vibe, NY Times, etc.

 So, let’s get into these reasons…

1. She’s unapologetically herself 

Honestly, she’s me if I had no self control. She’s goofy and dramatic and doesn’t care what others have to say about it (ie. see video above). 

2. She lifts others up

Cardi’s Instagram isn’t solely self-promotion. She’s been seen shouting out her family and friends on her platform too, giving them recognition for their achievements, or just because she feels like it (no reason). 

3. She knows how to budget while still looking stylish

Cardi knows how to mix high and low. She’s been seen wearing Gucci and Fashion Nova at the same time, and makes a point about it. She flaunts the fact that she does both, when she could probably afford to wear head-to-toe designer.

4. She’s still Cardi from the block

I believe Cardi has the following that she does because she’s authentic. She hasn’t switched up on us because of the recent success of her song. Instead, she chooses to remain humble and appreciative, while still posting her selfie videos that she shared on Instagram way before the days of Bodak Yellow. 

5. She’s Breaking Records

Bodak Yellow has reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard’s Chart, making Cardi the first female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998. I mean come on! Just to be able to have your name next to Lauryn’s in a sentence is a mass achievement. 

What are your thoughts on Cardi B?