There is a war going on right underneath our noses. No, I’m not talking about the brewing situation with North Korea or the domestic terrorism plaguing our country. I’m talking about the battle for the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
It’s more serious than any Game of Thrones episode. Right now, Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” is holding the number one spot. Directly behind it is “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B., the New York native determined to change everyone’s mind about regular girls from the Bronx. “Rake It Up” is the latest single from Yo Gotti. It features Nicki Minaj and is currently sitting at number 16. I know they say numbers don’t lie, but the truth is that Cardi B. has already won. Hear me out.
Swifties, the fandom fueling Swift’s mediocrity, have been riding the high of her topping the charts. It’s a win for their favorite artist, sure. But it also stopped “Despacito” from breaking a record that Mariah Carey still holds. Her song with Boys II Men, “One Sweet Day,” was number 1 for 16 consecutive weeks in 1995 and 1996. Some Swifties now have their eyes set on that prize, too. So it makes sense that they want “Bodak Yellow” to stay put.
If you’re wondering why Nicki Minaj is even in this conversation if “Rake It Up” is sitting all the way at number 16, that’s valid. (No shade here: I’m happy to report that while everyone was proclaiming DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna to be this summer's anthem, I had “Rake It Up” on repeat. And even though “Bodak Yellow” is basically a movement, I still prefer the Yo Gotti track because I’m a trap goddess.) Here’s the thing: When Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” debuted in 2014, it also peaked at number 2, making it the highest-charting song by a solo female rapper. Should “Bodak Yellow” make it to number 1, Nicki’s record will be broken.
So the Barbz — Nicki Minaj’s fandom — and Swifties have joined ranks under a classic rhetoric: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That their causes are no longer about a love for their own faves, but to simply stop someone else from accomplishing what might otherwise be an organic win is...well, wack. It’s also kind of pointless.
Billboard’s Hot 100 generates its list by ranking songs by sales, radio play, and streaming. There's also a Streaming Songs chart, and “Bodak Yellow” is sitting proudly atop it. Considering that Taylor Swift has nearly a decade’s head start on Cardi’s music career, probably a lot more clout at her record label, and the fact that streaming is quickly becoming the dominant means of consuming music, this is quite the feat. And now there's the valid question of whose chances of making the charts were sabotaged and whose were not.
And in the grand scheme of things, Cardi has at least two allies that trump the fandoms of both Nicki and Swift. These two Instagram posts should clear things once and for all.
With co-signs from Janet Jackson and Rihanna, Cardi has already won at life. And it’s also worth noting that Cardi made her position pretty clear on “Bodak Yellow” when she said, “Honestly, don’t give a fuck ‘bout who in front of me.”