“I make money moves” – Cardi B

Wherever you are when you hear that beat and then out of nowhere “Cardi!!”… you have a real fucking choice to make. You can bug out, or you can use every bit of fiber in your body to fight that urge. “Bodak Yellow” is a bonafide hit. Say what you will about Cardi “not being a real rapper” but she caught one.


Cardi B is a stripper, turned Instagram sensation, turned reality star, turned billboard charting artist. However, Cardi shouldn’t be the blueprint. I love her story, like so many others, because she’s such a real energy that you’d have to be a real hateful person to not want her to win. I LOVE HER. But I love hip-hop more. So when I saw that Blac Chyna is trying to follow that blueprint and rap now it makes me think of how there has to be a separation of hustle and art.


“It’s only fair that I warn you, rap’s my new hustle, I’m treating it like the corner, f*** with me if you wanna” –Jay-Z


I’ll never knock the hustle. I don’t have to enjoy your music to admire your hustle or salute yourself. But this music, this culture, this generation has to be about more than the music. People are, and have been for years, cheapening the skill level it takes to do produce this music in totality by using gimmicks. There’s always been a different gimmick that worked for a while during every era of Hip-Hop but there was predominantly a skill level that was required to live here. The scale was tipped definitively in the favor of skill and you just had a few gimmicks that snuck through the cracks. We don’t need 10 Cardi B’s. Because, ultimately, she’s a 1 of 1 type personality anyway so with the right work she brings that to booth. I don’t know how far her music career will go but we don’t need to become the new stripper pole. Over the last few years we already let the strip club become the A&R’s… we don’t need them to dominate the rosters as artists also. Don’t get me wrong, if rap has been a lifelong dream that you’ve put the time into mastering, but finances took you another route first, by all means chase your dream. But if not, we must protect this house. We must protect this music, this culture, and this generation. We must have a barrier of entry that requires a level of talent or we will be predominantly trash and gimmicks and this genre will die. We only need Cardi B!!!

Travis Cochran

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