Cardi B is en fuego.
This week, Billboard announced its Music Award Nominees for 2019 with Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, aka Cardi B, scoring a record-breaking 21 nominations.
Let’s run that back. 21 nominations in 18 categories. Okurrr.
According to Billboard, only Drake and The Chainsmokers have earned more with a total of 22. In fact, this is on the heels of the massive feat she accomplished last spring when she bested Beyonce by having 13 songs simultaneously featured atop the Billboard charts, and a total of 14, heavily rotating in the Billboard’s Streaming Songs category.
All jokes aside, not since Celia Cruz (La Reyna de Salsa), has an Afro-Latina artist transcended to these heights. For further context, it should also be noted that the last female solo rapper to have reached number one on the Billboard Top 100 was Lauryn Hill in 1998. Clearly, Cardi B is carving her own lane at every turn.
That makes this an inflection moment in entertainment. The Latinx audience has been craving higher levels of representation from music to cinema to the polls. Cardi B’s powerful backstory, in combination with the current social media and political landscape, have elevated the narrative surrounding what defines success for immigrants and their descendants in America.
Regardless of your opinion of Cardi (the naysayers know who they are), what is undisputed, is how the singer’s ubiquity in culture is becoming synonymous with a brand of reclaimed self-expression. One in which, we can witness Black and Brown femme voices searching for their footing, grabbing hold, then pushing the envelope of the conversation forward. Perhaps this will help usher in a new era in music where we see more women of color making strides.
Along the way, Cardi B will get to keep flexing, because even the haters can’t deny that she’s money in the bank. We agree with Billboard, she definitely likes it like that.