Yesterday the internet went crazy over Cardi B becoming the first female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart without the assistance of any other credited artists in nearly 19 years. Her debut hit “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” rose from No. 2 to No. 1 on the latest chart.
The internet sensation turned reality star from VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” is known for being street whimsical and honest with a personality that has won the world over. The Bronx-bred Latina, is a former exotic dancer who literally started from the bottom and is now an international sensation performing everywhere from the Video Music Awards to inside the ring during the Mayweather vs. McGregor weigh-ins.
Get Cardi’s new single “Bodak Yellow”, available online now. Buy/Stream “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”: https://lnk.to/BodakYellow Follow Cardi B http://Twitter.com/IAmCardiB http://Facebook.com/IAmCardiB http://Instagram.com/IAmCardiB http://Soundcloud.com/IAmCardiB
The last women to achieve this accomplishment was Lauryn Hill with her classic hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” from the timeless album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. When you put into context that this song was arranged with a Motown style and promoted consciousness over materialism, it is the perfect juxtaposition of where the world is culturally today.
Hill’s lyrics read like a street corner scolding by a big sister who knows you can do better if you pay attention. Promiscuity, excessive hair weaving, and the devaluing of your body for acceptance from men is her palatable sermon to young women. She adds that she has been through this and only wants people to learn from her experience.
The same lessons are delivered for the men who are so enamored with big rims, popping bottles in the club, and generally displaying no class while still potentially living in their mother’s basement. She derides poor decision-making like having multiple children and not taking care of them emotionally and financially.
The entire song is about excellence over mediocrity, and in 1998 it bumped from every car promoting the spirit of responsibility equally across both sexes.
Watch Doo-Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill online at vevo.com. Discover the latest music videos by Lauryn Hill on Vevo.
With Cardi B, you are given the raw energy of poverty meets unexpected comeuppance and all the bravado that is attached to the new sensation. The lyrics bait the listener, intoxicating them to enter a world where luxury goods, porcelain veneers, and feelings of superiority are based on power and supposed societal positioning.
Cardi details her lavish lifestyle, dropping the names of six European and Japanese luxury brands in the merchandising and automotive vein while letting the world know this is just a portion of what makes her great. She doesn’t have to dance anymore, she makes money moves that stimulate other women’s children’s fathers to abandon them and chase her while animus is directed her way permanently now.
Two songs on polar opposites. Both now chart-topping hits and influential to the core. I have seen videos circulating the internet with little girls as young as three years old reciting “Bodak Yellow” with all the attitude delivered by its reality star progenitor.
We must ask ourselves how in just 19 years we have replaced good sense with catchy music. From the dangerous reality shows that birthed the Cardi phenomenon to rap music fostering a culture of prescription pill and codeine junkies, the fall from grace has been hard.
Entertainers are not role models. Parenting and good decision-making should emanate from the household. But it is either a grand plan by the powers that be or the very real malaise of the people that has allowed this proliferation of nonsense to actually be deemed a culture.
It is no wonder that now Lauryn Hill is looked at as a virtual recluse jaded by the same popularity that enriched so many’s lives. It is a dichotomy that we can only wish reversed but must demure our obsession with the ridiculous to do so.