The 15 Best Cardi B Features – Rolling Stone

By Mankaprr Conteh
HIP-HOP WAS BORN IN the Bronx in the summer of 1973. To celebrate the music’s 50th anniversary, “Rolling Stone” will be publishing a series of features, historical pieces, op-eds, and lists throughout this year.
Cardi B is undoubtedly one of the biggest rappers of all time — ask the charts, the streets, other A-list artists, the most coveted fashion houses and brands, or the Internet generally (a place full of people who go to great lengths to align with or malign her). Her reach is wide and her career has been historic, though she has yet to release an album since Invasion of Privacy, her debut. In 2019,  it earned her the Grammy for Best Rap Album and she became the first solo woman ever to win it. From top to bottom, Privacy is full of what has become Cardi’s signature bite, wise cracks, and enthusiasm. It also boasts a score of stars as features — SZA, Bad Bunny, Chance the Rapper and more — showing that she doesn’t just play well with others, she makes magic with them.
She’s only gotten better in the last four years, and now Cardi has lent her voice to tracks by a bevy of hitmakers and newcomers, starting the kind of wild run of culture-shifting features that has been the hallmark of the modern rap giant: Lil Wayne had a particularly prolific one in 2007 with over 100 songs, as did ‘rappa-ternt-sanga’ T-Pain from 2007 to 2010, and Nicki Minaj in 2010 and 2011.
These are the verses with the pen, pizzaz, and cultural power that hoists Cardi’s jersey up into those rafters.
Hear this playlist on Spotify.
In one of her rare moments of softness as a featured guest, Cardi offers a vulnerable peak into the heartbreak born from the kind of infidelity that blogs love to speculate about and that tons of people know all too well. However, this is Cardi B we’re talking about, so she neatly wraps up her sweet sorrow with a vow of vengeance. 
Best Line: “I’m thinking of ways that I can hurt you back”
In the vein of “WAP,” Rosalía and Cardi B truly integrate their performances on this remix in a way that’s similar to the way both of them have incorporated disparate genres into their beloved discographies. Their verses and vocal lilts weave in and out of each others with sexy fervor and without a stitch showing. 
Best Line(s): “If I don’t answer the phone then it died (Then it died) / Got it on ‘Do Not Dick Ride’”
Here, Cardi gifts hip-hop’s most prominent compilation host with both a mini-verse as a hook and a firestarter of a full one. It made “Wish Wish” one of the best songs on DJ Khaled’s Father of Ashad, with a surprising assortment of liquid flows and compelling bars of self-defense for such a tight feature. (Also, it would kill for more Cardi B and 21 Savage collaborations. “Bartier Cardi” worked too well.)
Best Line: “I’ve been official my whole life, I bought burners, I ain’t buy likes”
Pardison is probably best known for his friendship and co-writing with Cardi B; they came up together in a strip club where Cardi would dance and Pardi would rap. Her use of a co-writer has made for much debate in a hip-hop landscape where lots of people write with lots of other people. “I don’t give a fuck,” Cardi said years ago. “All these rappers out here got writers. Even the ones that say they don’t. They lying, bitch.” They’ve both expressed that Pardi just fortifies Cardi’s natural rap abilities — Cardi even dared a Spotify exec to come see her in a writing session if he had doubts. Anyway, the point here is that they make an incredible team and “Backin’ It Up” broadcasts the distinction between the two. 
Best Line: “Ran down on a bitch, she almost pissed on her leg”
Girls just wanna have fun and gratefully, Cardi and the City Girls let us hear (and watch — fantastic video) how they get down together. This is another one of Cardi’s rare moments of true levity, showcasing a side of her that often comes through more in her social media and interviews than in her music. Cardi with the braids must be a good time.
Best Line(s): ​​ “This sound like ‘Cardi to the stage’ / This sound like Cardi with the braids”
Though Cardi leans deep into this songs’ structure, down to the rhyme schemes, she brings some necessary aggression to Latto’s shots at sneak-dissing. In another stellar verse that embraces the dichotomy between Cardi’s general love for women and ruthless attacks against the ones she hates, she also gives great life advice to everyone: be with a man that sponsors your goals and maybe tend to your responsibilities in the morning before hating on Instagram.
Best Line(s): “I ain’t smokin’ on no za’, lil’ bitch, I’m smokin’ on you / Put your bestie in a pack, and now I’m smokin’ her too”
When we say Cardi belongs on any song, this is what that means. Think of the dichotomy between Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” and this gory Bronx drill banger by some relatively niche dudes from that scene. Then, think of how seamlessly she melds into both. Her vigor here is almost deranged. However, there’s a perfect moment where she pauses her growl to hit a very dainty, Ice Spice-esque “like huh? Like, what?” Those Bronx girls are bad.
Best Line: “All the opps hope heaven got room for ’em”
This is the feature that helped make Cardi B America’s Sweetheart. She doesn’t overpower Bruno’s pseudo-family-friendly charm like she so easily could have. Instead, she’s playful and light, proving she belongs in every era and any song. It was nice to hear her put beef on the back burner and have some wholesome fun. 
Best Line: “Bruno, sing to me while I do my money dance”
Cardi B’s synchrony with Offset is ever evident, and in “Clout,” the most prominent of their several songs together, it works wonders. It felt like Cardi’s boldest stand against the grueling discourse around her online and a scathing indictment of the media landscape. She took the bullshit head on and she handled it well.
Best Line: “Bitches is mad, bitches is trash (Errr) / Oscar the Grouch”
Prior to jumping on Blueface’s “Thotiana,” Cardi had established her place as a promising pop feature with Bruno Mars. Here, she got down and dirty with one of rap’s then-burgeoning scoundrels. She clearly shines with a far more cunning verse and melodic delivery than her host, but she’s also nastier than him by a mile, taking the song to a new level.
Best Line: “I fuck him with my red flag on and when I cum, I say ‘gang!’”
One of the things that makes Cardi B such a modern superstar is the way she shows off so many of her identities with ease: momma, wife, Bronxite, Black, Caribbean, Latina, and more. As Black and Latin diasporas have crossed over and co-mingled, Cardi has asserted her place in all of it, and her verse on this global hit with killer bars English and Spanish is what that sounds like.
Best Line: “I’m kinda scary, hard to read, I’m like a Ouija board”
Let Cardi show you how to shake up a boys club. She’s the coolest person on the track, skirting G-Eazy and A$AP Rocky’s demure performances for some much needed turning up. She comes in barking “I need tongue, I need face” and keeps that same energy throughout her verse, because if you’re gonna go for something, you might as well go all out.
Best Line: “You know me, Cardi B, pussy poppin’ on the charts”
Taking on something so slow and sensual was a detour for Cardi and a smart move for Normani, who starred in the “WAP” video. She rocks the boat of the song’s softness, matching the tone of the curt percussion with seduction so direct it could be intimidating. Call her Quiet Storm Cardi.
Best Line: “It’s my dick and I want it now” (IYKYK)
Honestly, the arguments about Cardi B’s rap credentials have felt pretty dead for a while, but they should have been officially laid to rest on July 7, 2023 upon the release of her remix of this Chicago rapper’s seven-month old breakthrough track. Thankfully, she evens out the pretty chaotic song with a dab (truly the slightest) of chill with her slicker delivery. Cardi seamlessly raps about seducing and doing sexy women, shaming less sharp ones, and scheming on men with more tact and skill than your favorite hip-hop misogynist. Her verse feels like it could go on forever — and that would be okay.
Best Line(s): “And I’m ready with receipts, I be provin’ shit/I blow fifty racks in Target on some stupid shit”
When Cardi B jolted the mainstream consciousness with “Bodak Yellow,” she seemed like a one-woman army, and she was at war with everyone. That’s the power of that song, the spray and shock of her fuck-you bars and the gilded armor of cocky ones. But on “Tomorrow 2,” one of her most exciting rap moments since “WAP” broke everyone’s brains, she leans into Glorilla’s style without co-opting it, instead bringing her signature hilarity (“long ass weave, it be tickling my ass crack”), leaning into Glo’s grimey girls’-girl ethos (“I fight for my bitches and I’m fighting over dick, too”), and — most importantly — rapping with the confidence and precision of someone certain they could ruin your life in 24 hours (see: the whole verse). This shamelessness, synergy, and individuality is the magic of Cardi B features. It’s how she elevates songs. It’s what makes her an essential asset in any MCs infantry.
Best Line: “Both you bitches pussy, I think y’all should scissor”
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Rolling Stone is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2024 Rolling Stone, LLC. All rights reserved.

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