Wireless Festival 2019, notoriously known for its impressive artist bookings, surpassed all expectations and successfully hosted an array of RnB, hip-hop and urban heavyweights. A huge line-up, including the likes of Travis Scott, Future, Tory Lanez, Young Thug and Migos, took to the main stage over the first weekend of July. However, one particular act put her male counterparts to shame through delivering an unrivalled performance. As a result, this article is all about how a Bronx-born stripper managed to turn a Finsbury Park festival into ‘The Cardi B Show’.
Initially, I bought tickets to Wireless with the desire to finally see Migos perform live, something which I’d been anticipating since the release of Culture II last year, and they did not disappoint. So much so that I held little expectation for Friday’s headline act; admittedly even questioning why Offset’s group were not headlining over his wife. Therefore, I owe Cardi B an apology. Her energy, not only as a performer but as a person, became immediately apparent as she addressed fans with her trademark phrase: ‘Are you ready to party with Cardi?’. Yes, I was, as were the rest of the crowd it seemed.
To open, the Cardi-esque backing dancers were Backin’ It Up to her lesser-known feature on Pardison Fontaine’s track before the songstress herself teased the audience with provocative dance moves. Cardi’s ability to simultaneously twerk and rap was impressive as even she admits, ‘I’m out of breath’! Everyone was hooked as she executed chart-toppers like, No Limit, I Like It and Finesse, until she was dripping wet from a water fight in Thotiana. Visually, a mixture of intense lighting and Cardi’s neon orange bodysuit quite literally lit up the stage, complimenting her natural vivacity. Neon appeared to overwhelm Wireless fashion this year but Cardi B carried it stylishly, despite hilariously losing both shoe and wig during Bartier Cardi. A natural born entertainer, she is evidently comfortable being herself, and this, in turn, puts the crowd at ease in her company.
Cardi even invited her husband Offset to join her for a rendition of Clout, offering fans a glimpse of the sensual original music video. Whilst the appearance of Lil Nas X was a definite highlight of the show, he served as another reminder of Cardi’s vocal talent. She had the ability to perform live PA, he did not (nor did any other headliner that weekend…). Effortless rapping with the absence of a vocal backing track elevates Cardi B to a higher level, even remixing elements of her own instrumentals for the live performance. Perhaps she feels the need to outshine the men with whom she shares this competitive industry as famous female hip-hop artists are sadly in the minority; Cardi proves that this is not due to a lack of talent.
To stand as a successful female hip-hop artist appears to be hard work but Cardi B has risen to and exceeded this challenge, embossing her name at the very top of the rap game. Her one-woman-show came to a karaoke style finish as the audience screamed the lyrics to Bodak Yellow. Fireworks were also released into the sky and Cardi was able to bask (or twerk) in the glory of her success. So, how did Cardi B go from releasing Bodak Yellow in 2017 to being one of the most talented hip-hop artists of 2019? Her meteoric rise to fame is clearly as a result of pure talent, likeability and a genuine approach to her work and fans – Cardi appears to love what she does and it’s inspiring. Her performance can only be described as epic so, having only had a taste of the Cardi B experience, I would certainly pay (good money) to see her on tour in the future.
Cardi recently released a sample of Eve’s Love Is Blind in honour of her daughter, Kulture’s, 1st birthday. Be sure to check this out below, as well as her new track, Press, and collab with Lil Nas X, Rodeo.
Written by Char Stape.