In her rise from the Bronx to the Billboard charts, Cardi B has been many things frequently deemed disposable in the annals of pop culture: an exotic dancer, an Instagram celebrity, a reality TV star.
But now there’s no denying her place in history. At 24, Cardi B has become the first woman rapper to score an unassisted No. 1 hit since Lauryn Hill nearly two decades ago.
Her late-summer anthem, “Bodak Yellow,” bombarded the charts seemingly out of nowhere in recent weeks, clawing its way to No. 2 on the Billboard 100, where it looked like it might remain outdone by Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”
But the buzz surrounding Cardi proved too strong, as she burst through this week to become only the fifth rapper to top the Billboard 100.
Since Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” debuted at No. 1 back in Nov. 1998, Lil’ Kim (“Lady Marmalade” ft. Christina Aguilera, Mya and P!nk; 2001), Shawnna (Ludacris’s “Stand Up”; 2003) and Iggy Azalea (Fancy” ft. Charli XCX; 2014) are the only women emcees to hold the spot, Billboard reports.