Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)
Writer(s): Belcalis Almánzar, Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Jorden Thorpe, Anthony White, Laquan Green (see lyrics here)
Released: June 16, 2017
First Charted: July 22, 2017
Peak: 13 US, 12 ST, 110a RB, 24 UK, 6 CN, 33 AU, 21 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 0.4 UK, 11.68 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1101.54 video, 834.20 streaming
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About the Song:
Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar Cephus (stage name Cardi B) was born in 1992 in the Bronx. She first gained popularity on Vine and Instagram and then appeared on VH1’s reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York from 2015 to 2017. She released two mixtapes during that time and followed them in 2018 with Invasion of Privacy, her major label debut. The album debuted atop the Billboard album chart, went on to sell four million copies, and became the first album by a solo female rapper to win the Grammy for Best Rap Album.
The album produced five singles, all of which reached the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. The first single, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” was released in June 2017. Four months later, it became only the second chart-topping song by a female rapper. The first was Lauryn Hill with “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. It also became the first song by a female rapper to achieve diamond certification for ten million in sales. WK
The song won the BET Hip Hop Award for Single of the Year, the Soul Train Rhythm & Bars Award, and the American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Song. Consequence of Sound called it “the best rap debut in years.” WK Both The Washington Post and Pitchfork named it the song of the year. WK Pitchfork said, “’Bodak Yellow’ is not just the banger of the year; it’s an unignorable antithesis to a political landscape built around xenophobia, racism, and sexism.” SF It has also been called a defining song of the decade. WK
Lyrically, Cardi B sings about no longer needing to dance as a stripper. She also taunted her critics that she now made more many and was more powerful than them. She told Billboard magazine, “I wanted to do a song that is, like, ‘You know what? I’m in a good place in my life right now and I want to stun.’” SF
The song title was inspired by Florida rapper Kodak Black, borrowing the “distinct cadences he used on his minor hit ‘No Flockin’.” WK The song’s beat was created by Jermaine White. Complex said, “The hook, the beat, her lyrics: it all works. Cardi sounds so sure of herself…That beat drops and people go nuts.” WK
First posted 6/20/2023; last updated 6/22/2023.