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Cardi B – Gimmick Rapper or Hottest Artist?

Cardi B – Gimmick Rapper or Hot Artist?

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Music News

“Bodak Yellow”; whether you love it or hate it, it has managed to climb to the top of the Billboards Hot 100 chart, and win her Best Track of The Year at the BET Hip Hop Awards, holding the coveted position of hot single on the air. Released in June 2016, by Atlantic records, “Bodak Yellow”, is the rumored spin-off of Kodak Black’s “No Flockin’”, and is a must have on the playlists of every hip-hop centered radio station and nightclub.

Although this song’s rise to fame is fairly recent, the artist behind it has been an internet sensation years before this songs release. From her beginnings into mainstream media, with her “H*e’s never get cold” meme, it’s not hard to understand why people like Cardi B. She’s funny, charismatic, real, and quite transparent about her struggles, not only as artist in the music industry, but as woman. In her hit song, “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi constantly seems to be on the defensive. This is expected, as most people see her as more of a gimmick than a true artist. Combine this with the fact that her only hit song is strikingly similar Kodak Black’s, “No Flockin’”, who is also an Atlantic Records artist, and things start to make a bit more sense.
Additionally, in one of Complex news’ “Everyday Struggle” YouTube videos last month, they talked about another internet sensation, Danielle Bregoli, who is more formally known as the Catch Me Outside girl. After getting famous for her appearance on Dr. Phil for her attitude problems and disrespecting her mom, she blew up and got a record deal with Atlantic Records. Yes, the same Atlantic Records that recently signed Cardi B. Both artists had a massive following on their social media accounts before their music careers took off, which then leads to the very real question of exactly what kind of artists Atlantic Records are signing. While its clear when looking through their roster of artists, they have signed some legends and classics such as, Aretha Franklin, Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Trey Songz, and Sean Paul, their most recent signing of Ms. Catch Me Outside, is definitely enough to call into question their motives as of late. With both artists already having a strong fan base prior to their record deals, whether for positive or negative reasons, that leaves Atlantic records with two artists that they can take on and promote, with the guarantee that they will make their money back from fans like us that have already brought them to where they are today.

Unfortunately, this is just another strategic ploy of the music industry that us consumers never fail to fall for. They are following what is called, “The Logic of Safety” which is built on two main principles. Nothing succeeds like success, and change is always a financial risk (Ott & Mack, 2014, pp. 40). It will always make more sense to invest into a product that has already succeeded. So, while its great that Cardi was able to leave stripping, and in a few years, work her way to having a hit single, its not so great to know that her position could’ve been filled by a struggling artist who breaks through from actually making an original hit.

Ott, Brian L., and Robert L. Mack. Critical Media Studies: an Introduction. 2nd ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
Image Source: Atlantic Records

– Elizabeth O.

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