When I arrived at the sold-out Target Center, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I had never been a big fan of Cardi B, but I was definitely a listener; she seemed to sneak her way into my playlists through her many collaborations with some of my favorite artists. But make no mistake: for the everyday radio user, she’s being heard loud and clear. With three #1 singles and an album that won Best Rap Album of 2019 (over the likes of Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD and Mac Miller’s Swimming), combined with an appearance on Time’s Most Influential People of the World, it is now official:
Cardi B has completely taken over.
Her musical talents and unique personality combined with her massive social media presence (almost 50 million Instagram followers) makes her audience truly massive. A quick eye test of the crowd on Saturday would have you assume her following is exclusively young and female, but I’d argue it’s much more than that, based on her streaming numbers.
In the middle of the stage sat a set of golden stairs that led up to a golden platform. Massive screens hung behind it. 10 identical dancers in blue, sparkly one-pieces entered the stage and stood, waiting for Cardi to make her entrance. “Entrance” may be an understatement, as she was welcomed onto the stage by copious amounts of fire and smoke. Her outfit, which immediately made national headlines, was so sparkly you could probably see it from space.
The night was filled with features and covers, with her biggest tracks wrapping up the show. Cardi performed her hits “Press”, “Drip”, and “Be Careful” to massive crowd responses, as well as her collaborative hits “Girls Like You” with Maroon 5, “Please Me” with Bruno Mars and “Clout” with husband Offset. Rarely did she use any sort of background vocals, and kept up impressive energy the whole night. Oh, and lots of twerking. A lot.
The best parts of the night may have come between songs when Cardi addressed the crowd. She was absolutely hilarious, and let her personality shine through. Here are a few of my favorite lines:
“This song was made for my bad bitches, and my ugly bitches too”
“I don’t know whose idea it was to wear this outfit, but my arms are sweaty and my buttcrack is… very wet, you know what I’m saying?”
“I’d die for y’all, but I have a kid, so I got make it until at least 75 or something”
“I was trying to do some choreography for y’all, but I have no rhythm”
Put Some Respect on Cardi’s Name
While the show was a bit short, it was quite enjoyable and gave the crowd an opportunity to see Cardi in a way they most likely hadn’t before. She finished the show by taking an Instagram video of the crowd, remarking on how packed it was. “America, the world-“, she yelled, “This is Minnesota!” She ended her set with her certified septuple-platinum hit “Bodak Yellow”, assisted again by massive amounts of shooting flames and confetti.
Whether you like her music or not, Cardi B has paved the way for many of the new-age female rap artists of today. Her impact on the music industry is undeniable, and neither is her charisma. I entered the building as a skeptic, and left a supporter.