This week, Cardi B became the first female rapper to take the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. She’s also the first Latina to top the chart since Shakira in 2006 with “Hips Don’t Lie.” That’s right: The summer hit “Bodak Yellow” is crashing into fall as the most popular song in the country, ahead of artists like Taylor Swift, Charlie Puth, and even the inescapable single “Despacito.”
She’s unapologetic about her past — she’s open about the fact that she dropped out of school to escape her abusive boyfriend and become a stripper — and she also isn’t interested in changing how she speaks. She proudly boasts about using and discarding men to make her way to the top, a female flip on the script usually followed by the rappers in a male-dominated industry.
And then, after years of mixtapes and building buzz on social media, with one single, Cardi B made history. This is a moment. Yes, it’s a win for the 24-year-old, but it’s also a win for women, for women in hip-hop, and a win for brown women, especially.