Cardi B looked appropriately ridiculous on the red carpet at the Grammys this year. It was perfectly on brand.
Here’s how the rapper showed up to music’s biggest night:
— People (@people) February 11, 2019
She’s far from the first artist to wear something weird on a red carpet, but the outfit is worth considering as a reflection of Cardi’s appeal. As her torso busted dramatically out of a dress that nodded at some old-school concept of elegance, it captured the rapper’s essence. Rude, eye-popping, disruptive—but also a refreshing contrast to formulaic garbage and self-importance.
She’s an industry disruptor, someone who deftly rode a wave of social media celebrity straight to the top of the charts. Cardi also knows how to create a news cycle. Her fame has always been fueled by her personality, which never fails to shock audiences, and came through clearly in her red carpet outfit on Sunday. She purposefully saturates us with it— on Instagram, on Twitter, on red carpets, in Pepsi commercials. Her antics are impossible to escape.
Cardi takes risks, and doesn’t care if people hate it, so long as they’re talking about her. She’s not the first person to devise that strategy, but she’s unquestionably doing it better than anyone else on the scene today.