How Did “Bodak Yellow” Become Number One?


 Kalila Bell | Culture Staff Writer |

Nearly 20 years ago rapper and songstress Lauryn Hill’s song “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” was number one in the nation. Flash forward, and up-and-coming rapper, Cardi B, reigns on the top of the charts. What is one thing these two women share? They are the only solo female rap artists that have reached number one on the Billboard’s Hot 100. While many Bobcats enjoy blasting the rhythmic song all over campus, it has been a long time coming to get an artist such as Cardi B to even make it this far.

November 14, 1998

“Doo-Wop (That Thing)” is number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song maintains this position for the next two weeks. Other contenders of the top five were a mix of rock, rhythm and blues, much like the current Billboard chart.

November 9, 2002

Hip-hop artist, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” jumps to number one on the charts. The song, a title track of his “8 mile” movie, stayed on top for the next 12 weeks. Right under Eminem was Missy Misdemeanours’ “Work it” track. The other songs making up the top five hot singles all were R&B or hip-hop genres.

December 16, 2006

Pop artist Beyonce, held the number one spot with her single “Irreplaceable.” The charts are drastically different from the previous four years’ top five singles. In 2006, the top five singles were all by acts that were pop artists, such as Fergie, Justin Timberlake, and Gwen Stefani. The outlier in the group was Akon’s “Smack That,” featuring Eminem.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

December 18, 2010

The charts pop reign plays on as Katy Perry’s “Firework” makes its number one debut. Perry was alongside artists such as Pink, Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, and Bruno Mars.

November 29, 2014

Country-turned-pop artist Taylor Swift, or T-Swift as she was affectionately called during this era, had two songs in the top spot. Her single “Blank Space” was number one with “Shake it Off” following close behind at number three.

Now in 2017, the Nielsen reported that the hip-hop genre had surpassed rock sales for the first time in history. This report came out in early July shortly after Cardi B’s release of “Bodak Yellow”. The Huffington Post cites the increase in digital consumption of music, a key to the genre’s success. Artists such as Cardi B built their brand off of their social media fame, so this may come as no surprise.

The song’s rapid climb up the music charts wasn’t random: the song features a flow typical to her male contemporaries. It appears the music scene of America is changing and whether it is something to rejoice or regret will soon be found out. For now, artists like Cardi B will have plenty of “money moves” to be made.