Cardi B: Is She Furthering The Culture or Setting Us Back?

For the hoteps and holier-than-thous

Cardi B in Bodak Yellow

Belcalis Almanzar aka Cardi B is a rising star that’s already made history in the rap game. Her popular single, Bodak Yellow, gave women a song to stomp on dudes to at their local clubs. It finally allowed the ladies to respond to all the abuse we received from men upon hearing Faneto. However, I might add that any lady that stayed on the dance floor when she heard the growling “gang gang gang” come over the speakers knew if she wanted to make it out alive; she had to jump alongside her male counterparts. Now back to Cardi…

Like Rihanna, Cardi B is more than an artist. She’s an enigma. Born of a Trinidadian mother and Dominican Father in the South Bronx of New York City, she was destined to have flavor, spice, and everything not so nice. But that’s what gives Ms. Almanzar her appeal. America has always thrived on Black Culture and the fashion and music industries specifically are rooted in taking pieces of our slang, style, and more. This Aro-Latina feeds them that unique twang that they yearn for. How? Because Cardi brings her authentic-self to every interview, every show, and every verse. And yet, bringing her authentic-self everywhere has gotten her in a little bit of “trouble” lately.

Cardi B is a perfect representation of what it looks like to grow up in racially inclined areas without proper knowledge of bigotry and micro-aggressions. It’s 2017 and dare I say it… the world IS more sensitive than previous ages due to the heightened awareness of aggressions, racism, and bigotry. What would have been considered a joke in 2009 is now an offensive slur. Is this change beneficial? Depending.

Now that social media is blazing forward and all eyes are on everyone 24/7, we must be cautious of the words and phrases we use to express ourselves. For men, it’s being more aware of misogny. For whites, it’s being more aware of the racist jargon taught by grandma. For minoritites, it’s being aware that although we can’t be racist, we CAN be bigots (equally sickening with no political power behind it). It’s not necessarily about being sensitive but of becoming culturally-aware. We’re not children sitting on the bench at recess anymore. Firing someone up while using the race, culture, or background of another isn’t funny. We’re more creative than this. A good fire up should involve me saying you look like a lemur, not a Native American. But of course, I would be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate a good “comparison” joke here and there because I too am growing, learning, and evolving. You have to remember, I was a part of Savage Twitter than turned into Black Boy Joy Twitter.

Most people think white people can’t dance. Truth is, white people be too f*#%*d up to dance. — Katt Williams

See, I’m still getting grounded in this new-age englightment. Because to me, that Katt Williams line is a classic. But back to Cardi… again.

She did come out with a few apologies for the tweets that she intended as humor that might have offended others. Which is great! It’s a time of admitting we were wrong for using such language and to be okay with it. We’re all finding parts of ourselves that have been shaped by racial constructs that we’re still remodeling. Do I believe Cardi is done with the fire-ups with possible racial undertones? Of course not. Do I believe that because of this she’s a setback to “Afro” culture? Absolutely not! She’s a woman of her environment that’s constantly being reshaped by new experiences. Just. Like. You. Who knows who Cardi B will be in 20 years. She might be another Coretta Scott King.

I hope this article either enlightened your or even pissed you off… Regardless, thank you for reading and exposing yourself to the layers of Cardi B.

-Kiah Chism

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