Crystal Leww: Cardi B is not a good rapper, and any criticism of her music will undoubtedly try to hit at her weakness in the “technical” department. But technical skills have always been overrated in music anyway. You know what is exciting? I went to a small music night in New York a couple of weeks ago, and the DJ dropped “Bodak Yellow.” Before Cardi’s rap even cut in, there was a roar from the women in the crowd. The DJ ran it back twice because of technical difficulties and even when the music cut out from time to time, there were still people rapping along, continuing as though the song was going. There are a lot of videos on the internet of someone cutting out the music on ‘”Bodak Yellow,” and the crowd still going. This is a monster of a song, especially for the girls, and watching it unfold in public spaces is unbelievable, much more interesting than any technical rapper in 2017.
The best review I’ve read of “Bodak Yellow,” likely shoo-in for Pazz & Jop single of the year (I’m not that taken by it myself, though my daughter has B’s rhymes down cold). The entire roundup of reviews at Singles Jukebox is worth reading (especially given what we know now as opposed to what we knew then).