One of the most successful collaborations in music history is “WAP” from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.
Considered by some to be an empowering anthem for women, others call it a degrading piece of music. Topping the Billboard charts and breaking streaming records, the controversial lyrics have enraged conservative listeners.
Even the rapper herself had some problems with the risqué lyrics before the song hit the airwaves.
Cardi B launched her career with Instagram
Belcalis Almanzar goes by the stage name Cardi B. The rapper and former stripper from the Bronx used Instagram to launch her career.
In 2017, the outspoken artist signed with Atlantic Records after appearing on Love & Hip Hop: New York on VH1.
Cardi B was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the 2017 BET Awards. Her first commercial release, “Bodak Yellow,” came out that same year and was met with enormous success.
Now an international sensation, Stereogum said the “WAP” singer’s voice is “an unabashedly loud and sexual F-you New York honk that translates perfectly to rap.”
The controversial ‘WAP’ lyrics and music video
The hip hop track that has dominated the charts for months has become a pop-culture phenomenon. It has not only smashed music industry records but inspired vast social media interaction.
Filled with plenty of sexual innuendos, the hook of the song is a call to all women to embrace their lady parts. Cardi B claims womanhood is something to be proud of and self-love is essential. Black women feel it is a tribute to their feminism and a celebration of them owning their sexuality.
What Cardi B had to say about the controversial lyrics
Cardi B admitted to Vevo’s “Footnotes” that she wasn’t thrilled with the lyrics when she first saw them. She felt that WAP, which stands for Wet A*s Pu**y, was too controversial.
She asked other female artists to help her come up with an alternative, but no one came up with anything better. Cardi B said: “I just didn’t like that, but … couldn’t come up with anything else, so whatever.”
There is a non-explicit version that was recorded, changing the acronym to “wet and gushy.” Cardi B explained: “It was really hard for me to clean this song up because nobody could convince me to keep ‘gushy’ cause I hate the word ‘gushy!’”
Kylie Jenner’s cameo in the music video caused an unexpected uproar
When Kylie Jenner appeared in the music video, strutting her sexy leopard print outfit, fans were enraged. The Kardashian klan is often accused of Black cultural appropriation and “blackfishing” to benefit their brands.
Cardi B. fans wanted Jenner’s scene deleted from the video, with some even starting an online petition. Many people didn’t like that a white woman had to just walk down a hallway to make a visual statement. Fans of the song on Twitter were frustrated that other women in the music video, Normani, for one, who is black, had to work much harder to be seen.
Cardi B took it all in stride, responding on Twitter: “Not everything is about race.” Jenner, meanwhile, used the experience to her advantage. She just released a new collection of leopard print themed cosmetics.
Widespread success of ‘WAP’
‘WAP’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts with a record-breaking week. There were 93 million U.S. streams and 125,000 downloads upon the song’s outrageously successful release.
It was the greatest first week streaming amount ever for a new song, surpassing Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” It was also received the most weekly streams for any song released in 2020. Total sales of “WAP” have surpassed Taylor Swift’s widely popular “Me!”
Billboard called the powerhouse collaboration “one of the most dominant Hot 100 No. 1s of last 30 years.”
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