Anyone who’s been following Cardi B for a while now knows that the Dominican-Trinidadian rapper frequently reps her plátano power roots. Growing up between Highbridge, a Latino-majority neighborhood of the South Bronx and her grandmother’s Washington Heights apartment helped shape her identity, and she has frequently shared in interviews how close she is to her Dominican dad’s side of the family.
As Cardi’s career continues to reach new heights – including becoming became the first woman in rap to earn multiple no. 1 singles and the first artist of Dominican descent to hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – she’s become one of the most visible faces for Afro-Latinas and dominicanas in the mainstream. And she’s done it while remaining unapologetically unvarnished and proudly putting on for her culture.
Below, we’re taking a look at the many times Belcalis Almanzar has been una Dominicana de pura cepa.
When she threatened to steal your man in her tubi
It’s not uncommon to see IG videos of Cardi in a tubi at her abuela’s house. The dry hair-wrapping technique, which helps prolong a blow-out, is a Dominican hair salon classic, and is also used by other Caribbean and black communities.
But while many women don’t leave the house in their tubis (except, of course, for fashion icon Rihanna, who wore one on the red carpet), Cardi let people know that her tubi is no impediment to her flow.
On “Rollin,” a song off her second mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol.2, Cardi raps “If it’s not the money then it’s “poof, be gone”/Steal your man with my tubi on.”
When she dropped Spanglish version of “Bodak Yellow” at the 2017 Dominican Day Parade
Riding on La Mega 97.9’s float clad in a red-white-and-blue bustier, Cardi set the streets on fire when she dropped a Spanish-language version of her mega-hit “Bodak Yellow” at the 2017 Dominican Day Parade.
The remix also features a verse from Harlem-raised Dominican rapper Messiah El Artista, who joined Cardi on the float for the performance.
Cardi also threw down some palos on the float for good measure:
When she blasted La Insuperable in the whip
Whomst among us has not yelled “THIS MY SCHMOOD” while listening to La Mami del Swagger’s “Cero Goga” in the car? This video is also iconic for Cardi’s exhortation that “If you don’t understand it, get a f*ckin bitch to translate it for you!” which, coincidentally, is also Remezcla’s editorial policy.
When she taught Quavo to say "que lo que"
Cardi’s got the Migos learning Dominican slang.
All the times she's put on for dembow
Cardi’s social media presence – where she often shares videos of herself singing to Spanish-language music – is putting her non-Latino fans and the mainstream hip-hop world onto new genres and artists. But in particular, she makes sure to rep for Dominican dembow, which has not yet attained the level of mainstream recognition achieved by genres like reggaeton and Latin trap.
When she explained how Dominicans can eat whatever they want
When she went on Vacilon en la Mañana
This entire interview is great, but perhaps the best moment is when she complains extensively about not being able to get Dominican salami at her New Jersey grocery store and having to come back to the Heights to shop at Liberato.
When turned up to Fefita la Grande at her abuela's house
Típico reina Fefita la Grande is the most well-known and respected female accordionist in the Dominican Republic. Above you can see Cardi getting her life to Fefita’s hit “Vamos a Hablar Inglés,” a song she loves so much she’s even joked about wanting to remix it and collab with La Mayimba.
Fefita has said she’s down for the cause, so let’s keep our fingers crossed we someday get receive the earth-shattering típico-trap remix the world needs.