By now you’ve seen and heard the throwback magic that is Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” remix featuring Cardi B. After a fantastic start to 2018 — being inducted into the elite group of artists to have their first three Billboard Hot 100 hits in the top 10 — many detractors are beginning to come around. Including me, to be honest.
It’s also given more fire to the Nicki Minaj is washed, and Cardi is (in fact) the new queen argument. Seven years of accolades aside, it’s hard to argue that she isn’t running shit at this moment. Nicki must feel some sense of competition, clearly, as her work ethic over the past few months has been hectic.
The question is, though, why does Cardi’s success automatically mean Nicki is washed? Without a defined head to head competition up for public judging, why does it feel like we can only have one female rapper in the spotlight. Let me clarify; there are LOTS of talented female artists out right now. But not many that are moonwalking across a mainstream plateau as high as Nicki and Cardi are currently.
We don’t do this to male artists. Well, we do, but not like this. In fact, I’d argue in the sea of extreme similarities and arguable mediocrity, and we give a lot of males artists a pass to shine in the same sky.
I think that perhaps I started to wrap my mind around this after hearing this mega-mix that melded a host of female artists on the “Finesse” instrumental. Nicki and Cardi back to back sound phenomenal. Like, the fact they aren’t putting together a collaborative EP — or at least a legit collabo (not a forced one like “Motorsport”) is a missed opportunity for Hip Hop in my humblest opinion. The fact that Kim and Foxy never did that was a missed opportunity for Hip Hop.
This isn’t Highlander. There can be more than one. Stop gassing up bullshit. Hip Hop is a competitive culture, but sometimes we just want to have fun, too.
Hopefully, 2018 will be the year that some of the most prominent female acts — again I’m squarely aiming this criticism at significant acts — can start forming super groups and collaborating like some of their male counterparts.