Writer: Austin Prim
Is Cardi B the Best Rapper in the Game…Right Now?
First, ok she’s not the best in the true sense of the word. She’s the best in the common meaning of the word, meaning Hottest. People get some of these words misconstrued. They say “best” when they’re really talking about the “hottest” or their “favorite”. So, with that caveat given…Cardi B is the best rapper in the game right now!
T.I. had his year back in ’05-’06. 50 had ’03 on lock! Wayne, well we know Wayne was THE guy from 2006 to 2010. Ye had a year or two, Hov, Em, and Drake all had their runs. ’17-’18 might be Cardi’s!
Two or three years ago, if you were really on Vine you knew Cardi. You might not have known her name, but you knew of this crazy, cute, ghetto, hilarious, hood stripper chick that gave you hood stripper chick advice that bettered your life in some form or fashion. Cardi brought that same energy to IG, which got her on Love & Hip Hop New York. She gained A LOT of recognition off that look. She kept that same energy, that same around the way girl personality that drew so many people to her. Then she said she was putting out music. Like most LHH “Artists”, you may have written her off right then. However, unlike most LHH “Artists” she dropped some gems! Lick, Pull Up, and obviously Red Barz.
Love & Hip Hop
Fast forward to summer 2k17. Picture this, random guy on twitter scrolling through his TL seeing “Official Video for Bodak Yellow – Cardi B”. This guy knows who she is. He saw her on vine, and on LHHNY. He didn’t watch too many of her IG posts. Didn’t make it through half of the season of LHHNY. He hadn’t listened to any of Cardi’s music prior, but enjoyed her as a person. “I’ve heard people talk about it. I know she put out some mixtapes, but let’s see what she sounds like.” He watched the video and was confused. Confused by what you ask? He was confused as to why he enjoyed this video and song so much. He understood that the lyrics themselves weren’t Kendrickian. He knew the flow wasn’t necessarily a descendant of The Notorious one. He conceded that the beat didn’t derive from the school of Swizz Beatz. However, he knew there was something special about this track that just made sense. It was there that he realized that this song, although some of his peers may shrug it off as just another mindless & temporary club banger, this song was going to be BIG. And he was right. That man, that man who randomly decided to listen to a song by a hood, stripper chick, was (GASP) me.
From that point on, Cardi has been EVERYWHERE! Interviews with the Breakfast Club, Jimmy Fallon, and Desus & Mero, performing everywhere, mentioned by everybody, and featured on a lot of chart topping songs! I’m not here to say Cardi’s the best lyricist. I’m not saying the message Cardi is delivering is the most potent or important. She hasn’t necessarily proven that she’ll have longevity. What Cardi has done however, is shown that she’s more than just a gimmick. Cardi has a certified hit with Bodak Yellow and a decent follow up with Bartier Cardi. Her features on Motorsport, La Modelo & No Limit are keeping her relevant and aren’t slouch verses either. But this feature with Bruno Mars is what sparked the idea for this article. Bruno literally could’ve gotten anyone for the remix of the song. It wasn’t a “let me get a hot rapper so the blacks will listen” type of grab. He already has us, well at least with this 24K Magic album. This was a genuine “Yo she’s dope! I want her on a song!” type of collab. Rumor is, he had her record the original draft of the verse the first night he met her. The Finesse Remix is a BIG look for Cardi. Again, I’m not saying she’s top tier lyrically, or that I’m expecting a classic album from her right now. I’m just admitting that I personally don’t believe that she’s one of these here and hot now, cold and gone tomorrow artists. I think she has talent and personality that will keep her relevant, at least, until the end of the decade!
All in all, other than Chance the Rapper and maybe Kendrick, Cardi’s easily the hottest rapper in the game right now. Drake JUST put out a fresh single on the radio. Nicki’s singles and features aren’t really popping like that. Jay-Z has kind of surpassed needing to be the most relevant any more. So how can you really deny or argue against Cardi B being the number 1 Hip-Hop artist right now? I know a lot of you may complain and get super upset cause “Bruh, she not a real rapper bro! She really ain’t eem got bars like that son!” Look, relax. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I truly get it. BUT, take your silver mic check 1, 2, 1, 2 spoons out of your mouth for a minute. Enjoy the moment. Nobody’s putting her on the Hip-Hop Mount Rushmore. No one is saying Cardi is better than Lauryn or Pac. Respect the come up! Respect the hustle! Appreciate the grind and work she’s put in. Cardi B is the hottest rapper right now. It’s as simple as that! Tell us who’s hotter RIGHT NOW!