Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy hasn’t even been on the market for a full 48 hours and already it’s certified gold — and bringing out plenty of haters. And I’m not talking about the kind who might not recognise the sheer artistry (or relatability) behind hits like “Be Careful” and “Ring.” To each their own on that note. Instead, I’m referring to the people who are quick to write off Cardi B’s success simply to promote and pump up other female rappers, including Nicki Minaj. Fortunately, Cardi B quickly shut down the suggestion that the two have beef and that there’s only room for one female rapper at the top of the charts, and I couldn’t agree with the latter more.
“I just feel like it’s really internet made-up. I really feel like fans, fans, and people they really want to see that happen because it’s really entertaining,” she said. “To see people beefing is really entertaining.” Cardi goes on to admit that she herself found it entertaining to watch Minaj and Remy Ma exchange disses last year, but she made it very clear that she “doesn’t have time for that.”
She also took the opportunity to praise Minaj, calling her an “amazing artist,” and referenced times when she’s actually made videos singing along to her songs. "[Fans] want me to say something bad. [Fans] want to annoy me to the fact that I say something bad. I'm not falling for that," she said. Instead, Cardi advocated for more people talking through problems like adults instead of “sneak dissing” each other. “If you ain't fucking my man, or if you not taking my money from me, or if you not stopping my money then I don't really give a fuck about you.”
The fact that this was even a topic of discussion is ridiculous. Instead of allowing Cardi to celebrate a successful transition from her former job as a stripper to reality TV star and topping the charts, she’s forced to defend her relationships with other women. Likewise, fans can’t even celebrate the album and all the new Instagram captions we’ve been blessed with because of it, without funnelling through “Cardi B is trash” comments and ranking memes of female artists on Twitter.
Did I miss the memo that says one woman’s light shining makes the others around her dimmer? Is it not possible to like more than one female rapper at a time? Of course not, and yes it is possible, which is why the pitting of Cardi B against every other female rapper and vice versa has to stop.
Yes, there was a time when there was only one female emcee topping the charts that fans could root for. But now there’s plenty of them, and we should be celebrating that fact instead of harping on who’s the best. With so many young women seeking representation in entertainment and the world today, they deserve to have more than one example of success to look up to. While Cardi B’s version may not always be what some consider “classy,” she’s real, works extremely hard, and has built a career from the ground up. And who can hate on that?
Cardi B’s wins shouldn’t make anyone — rapper or otherwise — feel threatened or like they need to tear her down. If anything her hustle, realness, and commitment to making sure that “bad bitches” win should inspire others to live their most authentic lives.
Instead our attention and “hate” should be focused on the record labels and execs who refuse to sign more female rappers to their labels and/or promote their body of work. For example, Cardi B isn’t the only female emcee signed to Atlantic Records, but she’s the only one mainstream media is being exposed to right now. And the discriminatory selectivity isn’t just reserved for major labels either. Imprints led by male rappers themselves also have a history of ignoring female talent. In fact, a breakdown done by Pitchfork uncovered that between 15 popular music imprints only four females rappers were signed. Music execs not adding more women to their rosters further perpetuates the stereotype that only one emcee can shine at a time, and fans are, unfortunately, taking the bait.
Everyone needs to take a page out of Cardi B’s book and rise above the beef.
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