I grew up in a fairly white city but was lucky to be surrounded by people of color at school. By high school, most of my female classmates resembled the rap star of the moment, Cardi B.
Silly and playful but ultimately hood as fuck, doesn’t take any shit, and willing to speak up for herself. Uncompromising in being herself, Cardi B has a level of charisma and likeability that’s undeniable, that makes me want to see her win. Why? Because, reminds me of the girls who weren’t only lusted after but were just fun to be around. However, cross her and face the wrath. That’s dope. You get the impression that she’s still the same chick from the Bronx and ultimately, if everything went to shit tomorrow, she’d be good going back to the hood. I fuck with that kind of positive energy, it’s infectious. She’s grounded in realism but relentlessly optimistic, I love that from a young artist in what has been a pretty depressing era. That’s a movement I can get behind.
I really don’t vibe with her music. Simply put, she doesn’t make music for me.
You may say, “but Shawn, everyone can party to Bodak Yellow!”
That’s cool, it’s just not for me.
Now, I don’t believe she’s totally unskilled. Her verse on Motorsport had a few hot lines. That still doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m not her audience. For a few reasons.
First, her skillset is pretty basic. As I said, what she does, she does a decent job of it, but it isn’t enough to catch me as a listener. Granted, that isn’t what she’s trying to do but ultimately, rappers rap and for me, that matters.
Second, subject matter. Cardi B doesn’t really touch on much and hits the same story beats over and over. It is, for lack of a better word, boring. Money, shoes, cars, haters, and Offset. That’s it. Now I obviously can’t be mad at her for doing what works, but as a listener, I just need a little more to keep my attention.
Also, not for nothing, I’ve never been a big fan of raunchy hip-hop, that’s not to shame, or judge the artists who make that kind of music. Mainly because, I’m not into it, regardless of gender. Unless of course, it’s done in a cleverer way or is a smaller part of a larger narrative. That said, I really don’t care to hear about an artist’s partner’s jizz volume.
Finally, her lyrics. Now, no rapper needs to be super-duper lyrical, mega multi-syllable emcee for me to enjoy their music. I just need to relate in some way, shape or form, which I really can’t do with Cardi B. Her predecessors, emcees who relied heavily on sex appeal, ) such as, Lil Kim, Eve, and even Nicki (to an extent), all played off fantasy in their rhymes, Cardi B, on the other hand, doesn’t really do this. However with Cardi, her sex appeal is really only directed at Offset and at that point, the music becomes too familiar. I care to hear about an artist’s specific sexual engagements about as much as I care to hear about a rapper’s money, which is to say, not much at all.
So all in all, as much as I love the personality and character of the regular-smegular girl from the Bronx, I won’t take part in supporting her musical output.
Hope y’all enjoyed my thoughts on this topic, do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.