Even before the drop of her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, hit the scene in April of 2018, Cardi B had already made quite the name for herself in the music industry. Her chart topping single, Bodack Yellow, showed that she could not only find success within the rap industry, but also that she had crossover potential. When her single rose to number one on the Billboard top 100, she made history by becoming only the second female rapper to do so.
For many, it’s Cardi’s lyrics that draw them in; as she fearlessly raps about her money, relationships, and prowess in the industry. However, after recently being awarded with an ASCAP award for songwriting, she has faced criticism surrounding the authenticity of her lyrics.
Ghostwriting is a taboo that has plagued the rap and hip-hop industry for years. Many of the most prolific artists have been accused at one point or another of having songs penned by an unknown author, examples include: Drake, Kanye West, Rihanna, Meek Mill and Jay-Z to name a few. So, it is not necessarily a career death sentence to have the accusation attached to an artist’s name. However, for a relatively new rapper such as Cardi B, who totes a self-made personality, the claim of her having a ghostwriter is certainly not a positive one.
This is not the first time Cardi has had to address ghostwriting rumors. In April of 2018 a video surfaced of a rapper who goes by the name of Pardison Fontaine rapping the lyrics to one of Cardi’s Invasion of Privacy singles, Be Careful. The problem with this? It was in the year 2014; four years prior to the release of the song. Cardi has defended herself in reference to this video. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Cardi stated, “Pardison is not a ghostwriter, he’s a co-writer.” She went even further to say that he is credited in every song where he provides his writing assistance. Pardison is also signed to Atlantic, according to Cardi, “they noticed his working skills…they signed him too.”
This explanation has subsided some of the ghostwriting criticisms Cardi has had to face, but being awarded four ASCAP awards for songwriting has sprung up more accusations. These accusations seem to come from singular, unsubstantiated sources. So, with the lack of evidence of actual ghostwriting, why are these claims still being made? Is it so unbelievable that a young latina woman from the Bronx could write such catchy hooks and clever quips? Perhaps it could be equated to her frequent use of ebonics or her behavioral history from being on the reality show Love & Hip-Hop New York. Or could it just result from bitterness from her relatively new found and astronomically large level of success. Both of these situations are of course just speculation, but since many of these ghostwriting accusations are from noncredible twitter users it seems apt to respond to them in similar fashions.
It is common practice that the most successful artists in the industry use a team of writers to create their chart topping singles, and as long as artists are credited for their work, it is not considered ghostwriting. Therefore, there is no wrong doing in the circumstance. In this instance, and any others where Cardi has been accused of ghostwriting, she should be considered as completely innocent and be taken seriously as the talented artist she is.