There was a seismic shift in the music world today: Cardi B.'s "Bodak Yellow" surpassed Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. This musical ascension has felt imminent: Since the song began climbing the charts, fans have called for it to dethrone Swift's new single. And, in a bizarre response, Swift's fans banned together with Nicki Minaj's fanbase to prevent the song from taking the top place.
But the chart movement is more than just a thrilling upset in the music world. "Bodak Yellow" is the first song by an unaccompanied female hip hop artist to top the charts since Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" in 1998. Nicki Minaj, the most prominent women rapper aside from Cardi B, hasn't ever reached #1. Daily Beast columnist Ira Madison III points out, Minaj almost hit #1 with "Anaconda," but was foiled by Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." As Buzzfeed notes, even male hip hop artists struggle to reach the top of the charts. Legend Jay-Z has only done it once, with "Empire State of Mind" in 2009.
Cardi B's friends and family surprised her when her song hit the top in a moment that was captured and published on Twitter.
"All my friends are here! No wonder y'all wasn't answering my phone calls," Cardi B says in the video. "You know how they say, 'You find out who your real friends is when you open a business'? Well, I experienced that this week because all of my friends, everyone I grew up with, my family, my gang — everybody posted so I could go number one without even me asking."
She continued, "They just did it... harassing their followers, like, make sure you download and stream 'Bodak Yellow.'"
She then launched into a chorus of Taylor Swift's former chart-topper, 'Look What You Made Me Do,' a fitting choice for the moment.
Even with this exciting development, cracking the charts for this year has been tough for women artists. As Twitter account Shady Music Facts points out, Swift and Cardi B are the only women artists to top the charts this year. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
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