The Circle Voice

Cardi More Than Just a Girl from the Bronx

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Triple platinum debut single. Three songs in Billboard’s Top 10. Stripper turned Instagram personality turned superstar.


Cardi B is arguably the biggest hip-hop breakout star of 2017. If the lyrics “I don’t gotta dance, I make money move” don’t ring any bells, I recommend that you attempt to escape from the rock you’ve been living under for the past seven months. Just as her fierce lyrics suggest, Cardi isn’t afraid of the media or anyone else’s perception of her, unlike so many celebrities today. She’s controversial, bold, and, most of all, real. With the majority of today’s celebrities carefully constructing artificial public personas, fans are drawn to the 25-year-old’s intense relatability, and the enormous personality with which she expresses it. A vast part of her relatability stems from her impoverished background, which she escaped from through money earned by stripping. From there, her uniquely candid attitude towards discussing almost any topic on Vine and other social media platforms boosted her to internet fame. Within one of her most well-known videos, Cardi says, “You know people be asking me like, ‘What do you does?’ Like, ‘are you a model? Are you like a comedian or something?’ Nah I ain’t none of that. I’m a ho. I’m a stripper ho. I’m about this shmoney.” It is not difficult to see how she attracted the attention of millions, even prior to her singing success.


With her newfound fame, Cardi moved on from stripping to hosting club events and then the reality TV show “Love and Hip-Hop: New York.” Due to her huge persona, she amassed even more attention during her time on the show, but ultimately elected to leave in order to better pursue her burgeoning music career. Beyond “Bodak Yellow,” the Madonna and Lady Gaga-influenced rapper has experienced immense success with both “Motorsport” and “No Limit,” which featured collaborations with Migos and G-Eazy, respectively. Despite the fact that she is no longer primarily an Internet star, Cardi continues to entertain with her one-of-a-kind personality and utterly unapologetic outlook. Delivered in her iconic Spanish accent mixed with New York slang, a few comedic gems include “I’m an emotional gangster. I cry once a month,” and “I’m being nice to you. Have I stabbed you? No.”


Although much of what Cardi says during interviews and on social media is entertaining due to sheer shock value, she also delivers the impactful message of always being yourself and not allowing others’ expectations to define you. When Cardi jokes that she’s “sorry [she] ain’t proper,” furthering her point with an expletive, she sends the message that it is acceptable for people to act outside of society’s social norms and boundaries. Similarly, when she says that she doesn’t want people to “expect [her] to cook. I’m tired. I’m as tired as you.,” Cardi lets her female fans especially know that defying traditional gender roles is perfectly fine. In a world filled with false personas and an ever-present fear of how we are perceived by others, Cardi  provides a refreshing dose of realism and confidence that inspires. Perhaps summing up her carefree attitude and pervading sense of relatability mixed with humor, Cardi expresses that she is “just a regular degular shmegular girl from the Bronx.”

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