If you're a regular human, January sucks. But if you're Cardi B it's actually pretty fucking great. In 2018, the Bronx rapper has already made history by becoming only the third ever artist to have their first three singles in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously. And then a couple of days later, like any self-respecting rising megastar, she shows up on a remix of Bruno Mars' 24K Magic track "Finesse."
I want to unpack the importance of this for a second, in terms of the arc of Cardi's career right now. Bruno Mars is big. He's like, Super Bowl big. He's one of the most famous entertainers in the USA, and by extension, the world. Cardi, who enjoyed a massive 2017, rose to prominence in a largely black American space, on the fringes of the mainstream as part of VH1's reality show Love and Hip-Hop: New York. Bruno Mars is the sort of person white aunties probably know about, because of "Uptown Funk." Cardi B, as popular and deserving of success as she is, hasn't been marketed with that same level of mainstream potential. Well, until now. Her appearance on this remix speaks to Cardi's talent and appeal. It's also testament to her so-far underplayed versatility: while "Bodak Yellow," "Bartier Cardi," and her features on G Eazy's "No Limit" and Migos' "MotorSport" all share a similar trap sensibility, in her short career we've also seen Cardi sing on a reggaeton track (Ozuna's "La Modelo"). And now she's family-friendly on an R&B/pop crossover with one of America's most prominent stars.
In the "Finesse" video, Cardi is all charm all the time—the vivaciousness she's long been known for online shines through, and she's outrageously watchable. She also sounds great, and honestly, I hope this becomes her fourth simultaneous Hot 100 track, because, despite my complaints about Ed Sheeran over-saturation, Cardi B overload actually sounds pretty good.
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