Hands up if 2017 has hummed with the low-level white noise of stress for you. It's cool if not – I commend your ability to just get on with things. But for the past year I've flitted between 'feeling fine' then actually thinking about Boris Johnson being in his job or how annoying and expensive it's going to be to travel to France or Italy from the UK in 2021 or why people can't seem to understand systemic racism, and slipping comfortably back into 'feeling a bit shit'. Thank you, Michael Dapaah, for your Fire in the Booth punching a bit of light into all of this. Someone who's epitomised the rising star cliche this year, bucking the general hellfire trend, has been Cardi B. We've already written about her ascent here – in a Q&A from earlier this year, and an essay on her now ubiquitous single "Bodak Yellow" – but watching her give an interview to the Associated Press ramps this all up to another level. The Associated Press, for those who don't follow the ins and outs of the news-gathering industry, are a wire service. That means that they're the ones out in like war zones and political institutions – and sometimes on event red carpets too – getting the stories that constitute breaking news. They were founded in 1846.
I say all of this to provide a bit of context on how all-encompassing Cardi's appeal has become. In the space of a few months, she's traversed from the realm of largely black and Latinx communities (those who watched Love and Hip-Hop in particular) to the sorts of people who probably hadn't heard of her by the time she'd left the VH1 show in December 2016. Here she is, in the video at the top of the page, confirming her album release is scheduled for October (shouting out the "Libra gang" at the same time), shouting out Lil Kim, Trina and Remy Ma and squealing about Beyonce in a way that levels her out with basically every Beyhive member online – "I'm surprised Beyonce liked me, aaaah! I met Beyonce!" She exudes the charm that helps her rise above painfully awkward interviews, transforming the regular, staid AP bit of Fashion Week content into something resolutely of her singular style. Hey, at least someone's having an incredible year.
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