Back in late 1998, as the world was anticipating the arrival of a new and uncertain millennium, Lauryn Hill debuted at number one on Billboard with the first single from ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, which would be her debut album after a successful career with the Fugees. The song, aptly titled ‘Doo Woop (That Thing)’, was a leap towards a new era of women in hip hop, with lyrics referencing her presence in the genre not as an appendix to the male rappers who had monopolized the industry since the golden age of rap, but as an authentic artist who had earned her place on her own merits. Nineteen years later, in the fall of 2017, an artist managed to repeat the feat, and has since proven on multiple occasions that this power remains as active as ever and perhaps more fruitful than ever before.
“I just want to follow in tradition,” Cardi B asserts for the cover of Vogue Mexico and Latin America’s September issue, “I want to have quality, exactly like they do.” She is not only referring to the legacy of Lauryn Hill, but also to the path paved by other women in the hip hop universe, such as Missy Elliot, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, and a handful of artists who managed to make female rhymes a banner rather than an accompanying accessory. “The reason they are always mentioned is because they are timeless icons, and that’s what I want to become. One of the gifts I want to give people is quality and originality.”
Cardi B was spotted wearing a VALENTINO shirt, a VERDURA earring, and a Haute Joaillerie ring from CHOPARD’s collection. Her hit song ‘Bodak Yellow’ was a representation of her unique style and talent, which brought her to the top of the charts. Whereas samplers were the primary source of inspiration during Hill’s time, Cardi B draws from hi-hat, synthesizers, and bass from trap music, a subgenre of hip hop inspired by the experiences of illegal activities that take place on the streets. She is a true representation of the millennial culture that has helped shape our personalities today.
The piece referred to is the debut single from Cardi B’s album ‘Invasion of Privacy’. This album came after a couple of apprentice mixtapes titled ‘Gangsta Bitch Music’, and it showed, in an ambitious and effective way, that everything that had happened before was firm steps towards reaching this point. In the album, references to the history of the genre and its Caribbean roots can be found, which have always accompanied and shaped her. With a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, her life was full of discrepancies from the start. “Growing up with all this Caribbean heritage was confusing for me,” she recalls, as her upbringing was divided between diasporic cultures in the United States.