06. Who Throws a Shoe?
Would she truly be a rap sovereign without a beef or two? The feud between Cardi B and Nicki Minaj supposedly started after the two women’s verses ran back-to-back on the Migos’ track “Motorsport”, and fans misinterpreted the opposing lyrics as inciting. Although they both shot these down and cited the frustrating trope of women in music being pitted against each other, the tensions and alternating social media posts did unfortunately culminate into a physical altercation. Although the reports of what truly happened at New York Fashion Week’s annual Harper’s Bazaar party are unclear, one thing was explicitly caught on camera: Cardi threw her (probably very expensive) shoe at Minaj. There was no concrete cause, and there was definitely no positive result. Even Cardi said it was “bad for business.” In reality, the entire “feud” is pretty nonsensical and didn’t do much except cause some eye rolls and an excessive amount of media attention.
07. Cardi Sings with James Corden and Dances with Old People
In December 2017, just a few months after “Bodak Yellow” had taken the world by storm, Cardi went on Jimmy Fallon, and it was almost impossible to watch. I mean, it’s one of the most painfully awkward interviews aired on late night TV — ever. The truth is, Fallon had never had anyone like Cardi on his show before, and it was clear he had no idea what to do. A full year later, Cardi joined the likes of Justin Bieber and Adele and became the next mega-star to be featured on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke series. And the results were seamless from both parties. She and Corden whipped through her songs, shouted out the car windows, and visited a retirement home. It was random and natural and hilarious. It wasn’t the least bit awkward; it was pure entertainment, and it was symbolic. The world had adapted around Cardi.
08. Cardi B gets political
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 16, 2019
During the longest government shutdown, a time of political mayhem, people turned to those they trust. So naturally, people turned to Cardi B, a self-proclaimed political activist. She took to Instagram to call out Trump in arguably the most informative yet approachable discourse during the shutdown, which ultimately reached over six million people. The video was, to be expected, outrageous and raunchy and loud. But more so, it showed Cardi transcending her role as a pop-culture influencer and taking up the torch as a voice for the people.
09. Invasion of Privacy snags the Grammy for Best Rap Album
At the 61st Grammy awards, Cardi added another “first” to her long-running list: She became the first female artist to win the award for Best Rap Album. She faced fierce and emotional competition — Mac Miller’s Swimming was also nominated — but Invasion of Privacy was invincible. She also handled it with grace, dedicating the award to the late Miller, proclaiming afterword on social media, “I’m sharing this with you, motherf****r! Rest in peace!” Sure, Minaj may have paved the way for her to flourish, but winning this award showcased Cardi’s unprecedented success.
10. An unflattering truth is revealed
Throughout the year and a half of her invading mainstream culture, Cardi has dodged and tackled her fair share of controversy. But now, almost exactly a year after the release of her debut album, Cardi is facing demons from her past, as an old, contentious video resurfaced. The three-year-old video shows Cardi saying, “I’d drug ni**as up, and I’d rob them,” referring to her time as a stripper. Cardi has never hid from or been ashamed of her past, though. She has since apologized and explained, “I made the choices I did at the time because I had very limited options.” Although many are expressing discomfort in the face of the alleged mistakes, Cardi has remained equally as open and authentic as she did in her first viral Vine.