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2017 No. 1s: Cardi B

“BODAK YELLOW (MONEY MOVES)”

Billboard Hot 100 (three weeks), Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (six weeks), R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (10 weeks), Streaming Songs (two weeks)

Cardi B should be on top of the world. If her Instagram account, TV appearances and recent magazine profiles are to be believed, she should literally be on top of a pile of money on top of a table on top of a neon bearskin rug. It has been just over a month since her surprise hit, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” gave up its three-week reign atop the Billboard Hot 100, and in that time she has turned 25; played the Barclays Center arena (twice) alongside rap’s biggest stars; taken home five BET awards, including best new hip-hop artist and Hustler of the Year; killed a verse alongside Nicki Minaj on Migos’ “MotorSport” (which cracked the top 10 on the Hot 100); and gotten engaged to Migos’ Offset, who gave her a $550,000 ring with an enormous custom-cut raindrop diamond. (A few weeks after this interview, she’ll also pick up two Grammy nods — best rap performance and best rap song — for “Bodak Yellow.”)

So when I find Cardi in a quiet, book- and brick-lined nook at Los Angeles’ Carondolet House — an Italian villa-turned-events venue where she has been posing for photos all day — I’m surprised to see that she looks, well, miserable. When I ask her how she’s doing, Cardi looks up from the sandwich she has been poking at and squints until I come into focus.

“Oh, terrible,” she says, her expressive face gone hangdog. “I have such a bad headache. Oh, my God. It’s pounding.”

For all of her social-media antics and quotable crudity, Cardi B is not a cartoon. She’s just really real. And whatever stress-induced, wages-of-fame pain she’s suffering from at the moment, Cardi’s eager to say how happy she is to be here and enthusiastically answers my questions (in between, that is, long pauses to knead her temples). She says topping the Hot 100 was “like winning the lottery.” She claims the strip club-themed surprise party her label Atlantic threw her was “more special than my birthday.” She’s so humbled by the fact that airport employees have been congratulating her that she mentions it twice. “And it’s not like a congratulation everybody has had,” adds Cardi. “Like, ‘Oh, you had a baby,’ or, ‘you graduated.’ It’s No. 1 in Billboard.”

The first solo female MC to top the chart since Lauryn Hill did with “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998, Cardi is also quick to praise her predecessor: “Lauryn Hill is like a goddess. For me to be in the same sentence with her, and one day a new female rapper to be in the same sentence with me…” She throws her hands up and slaps them down on her chartreuse tuxedo dress. She’s also proud of “Bodak” unseating Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” though she flatters Swift as she expresses the sentiment. “I really like that song, but it do make me feel good because Taylor Swift is freaking Taylor Swift — [being on top] is what she’s known for, and it felt like I was doing it for the culture.” (Swift, for her part, sent flowers to her conqueror.)…………

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#TripleM Reports

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