Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s WAP has been quite the spectacle. Upon its release, the song was met with controversy from every angle one could imagine. Specifically, it wouldn’t be Cardi B if she didn't cause a commotion in the political world. She sparred with conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro on Twitter, when he had a less than favorable review of the song. Shapiro ranted on his website Daily Wire: “This is what feminists fought for. This is what the feminist movement was all about, and if you say anything differently it's 'cause you're a misogynist, see?" to which Cardi B replied on Twitter: “I can’t believe republicans are so mad over WAP”. The controversial p*ssy poppin’ anthem has spent well over a week dominating Apple Music, Spotify, and iTunes. The video has drawn in a whopping (no pun intended) 103 million viewers on YouTube. As of Monday’s Billboard Hot 100 update, the song was inevitably given the title of being the number one song in the country, debuting at #1. Cardi raises the bar, as she is currently the female rapper with the most Billboard Hot 100 number one hits (4). Megan Thee Stallion adds to her collection of chart toppers, tying Nicki Minaj with two each.
Let’s flashback to one of the biggest moments in Hip-Hop this year, that in my opinion set the tone for women taking complete control of the genre. The May 16th showdown between the Say So (Doja Cat featuring Nicki Minaj) and Savage (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce) Remixes. Fans of each respective remix battled it out on social media. Buying, streaming and requesting the songs in large numbers. It was one of the most anticipated Billboard chart weeks in history.
Doja and Nicki’s Say So was victorious, becoming both ladies first chart toppers. For the first time in Billboard’s history, three different female rappers had a song in the coveted top two positions. Ever since that week, female rappers have had a monopoly over the top spot. Two Weeks after the Say So Remix topped the chart, Megan and Beyonce’s Savage remix finally reached the pole position. Just 42 days after getting her first number one single with Say So, Nicki Minaj would top the chart again, this time debuting at the pole position as a lead artist on TROLLZ alongside 6ix9ine. Nicki Minaj became the first female rapper to debut at the pole position in over 20 years. It holds the record for the fastest song by a female rapper to amass 100 million views on YouTube. Eight weeks later, WAP debuts at number one with the biggest first week streams and sales of 2020 (The sales record previously held by Minaj with Trollz), according to Nielson and Billboard.
With the record breaking commercial success of WAP, as well as several other chart topping achievements by female rappers in 2020 - is Rap finally becoming a girls club? When we take a look at the biggest moments in hip-hop this year, it is noticeably lacking the male presence that has long been the standard of the genre. The argument can be made that the smash-hit releases by rising female rappers like Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion as well as established acts like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B have overshadowed the recent releases of proven Hip Hop heavyweights like Drake, DJ Khaled, The Weeknd and JuiceWRLD. For the first time in Hip-Hop’s history, women are the face of the genre. The baddies are playing a game of Ping-Pong with Billboard's number one spot, and we are absolutely here for it.