It’s official: there’s no escaping “Bodak Yellow,” the massive chapiadora anthem that has catapulted Bronx rapper Belcalis Almanzar to the top of the charts and heralded the era of Cardi B. Just two weeks ago, Cardi became the first artist of Dominican descent to hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Today, she shatters another industry record, continuing to defy categorization and rewrite the rules for women in hip-hop.
As Billboard reports, “Bodak Yellow” hit no. 1 for the third week in a row, making it the longest-running no.1 for a solo female rapper in Hot 100 history. Cardi breaks Lauryn Hill’s record for “Doo Wop (That Thing),” which held the no. 1 chart position for two weeks starting on November 14, 1998. That means an Afro-Latina and dominicana is responsible for the longest-leading no. 1 song by an unaccompanied female rapper, an accomplishment that is historic for women in hip-hop. It’s obvious that women have faced longstanding challenges breaking into mainstream rap and battling sexism in the music business for equal exposure and radio play. But the achievement is even more commendable, given the continuing erasure of Afro-Latinas in pop culture, and particularly in hip-hop. Cardi’s accomplishment is one worth celebrating.
Cardi’s ascent proves that Latino artists can still make it to the top of the charts on their own terms, with no features required. Only time will tell how this win changes the game for other Latino artists, and how Cardi continues to flip the script in the music business.