by Da’Nelle Grier
If you were an aspiring recording artist back in the day, you either had to perform at multiple talent shows or hope your demo landed in the right hands at a record label. These days, the internet just has to like you. Here’s a list of 5 of the most popular internet sensations that took the rap world by storm in very unique ways.
1. Danielle Bregoli
Popularly known for disrespecting her mother on Dr. Phil and encouraging the audience members who were laughing at her to “cash [her] ousside,” Danielle Bregoli’s aggressive attitude caught the media’s attention almost instantly. The “cash me ousside” phrase was remixed numerous times over the internet, making Bregoli the center of attention over all social media platforms. This newfound fame soon led to the release of her very first single, “These Heaux,” with the music video racking up to about 21 million views. On Friday, Sept. 15th, it was announced that Bregoli, whose stage name is now Bhad Bhabie, inked a multi-million dollar recording contract with Atlantic Records — just one year after her television debut. From being a hard-headed teenager who thrived off of violence and vulgarity to becoming the youngest female rapper to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100 at #77, Bhad Bhabie proves that it doesn’t take much “talent” to make it in this industry.
2. Cardi B
The funny thing about Cardi B. is that she’s probably the first member from VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop, whose music was actually distributed off of ProTools and onto the airwaves. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take this time to name at least one other artist featured on that show whose career didn’t begin and end in the studio (excluding the has-been cast of Love & Hip-Hop: Hollywood) — I’ll wait. Anywho, although Cardi B. was first introduced to the public eye as a reality tv star, this Bronx native is not new to the rap game. Born Belcalis Almanzar to a Trinidadian mother and Dominican father, Cardi B.’s musical resume reaches all the way back to 2015 when she was featured on Shaggy’s remix to Jamaican dancehall singer, Popcaan’s single, “Boom Boom.” On March 7, 2016, Cardi released her first mixtape titled Gangsta B*tch Music, Vol. 1, and the second volume on January 20, 2017. However, it wasn’t until after she signed a deal with Atlantic Records in February 2017 that she truly found success in the music industry.
On June 16th, Cardi B. unleashed a party anthem known as “Bodak Yellow” that will rule over parties and nightclubs for centuries to come (trust me, I’m a scientist). The infectious single skyrocketed this former stripper to the top, as it climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 just three months after its release. Other accolades for “Bodak Yellow” include (but are not limited to): reaching #1 on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart for the first time with 40.8 million streams, #1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and certified gold after 500,000 sales. “Bodak Yellow” is the highest-charting song by a solo, female rapper since Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” and Cardi B. is now the highest-charting favorite on my morning playlist.
UPDATE: As of three days ago, “Bodak Yellow” has now taken the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, making Cardi B. the first female rapper to top the charts without any features in 19 years! #winning
3. Lil Terrio
Although I wouldn’t consider Lil Terrio a “rap star” of today’s time, he did have lots of star-power four years ago. Way back when Vine was alive and well in the summer of 2013, one could not log onto the app without witnessing a then 6-year-old Terrio Hardshaw on their timeline. Dancing to the sounds of his neighbor Maleek shouting “Oooo kill ‘em!,” the six-second video skyrocketed into mainstream pop culture. By May 2014, Terrio had reached maximum fame with a record deal and a new music video surrounding the “Oooo kill ‘em!” phrase on his VEVO account, reaching over 1.7 million views. With Vine being long gone (R.I.P.) and Lil Terrio’s relevance having drifted off into the abyss, only one thing still remains — his impact.
Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada. Basic b*tches wear that sh*t so I don’t even ‘bothaaa!
…chants every 16-year-old girl to ever exist in 2011. Not only could this have been the first time four of the top luxury brands in fashion were considered basic, but this song could also signify the quickest rise and fall of anyone’s career. Before she disappeared from the spotlight, Kreayshawn, whose name is a rather interesting variation of the word “creation,” was the talk of the town with the release of her “Gucci Gucci” music video. Upon its debut, I think the world was just stunned at the presence of a Caucasian woman, who presented herself with such a dedicated hood persona (this is pre-Iggy Azealea, of course. *side eyes*). Other than that, the song itself was pretty simplistic, yet it quickly rose to the top of YouTube’s charts with over 59 million views. Where she is now? I don’t know, but wherever she is, I’m sure she’s “kreay-ting” something unique.
5. Bobby Shmurda
Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Now that I think of it, THIS is the artist whose career had the quickest rise and fall of anyone to date. Like Lil Terrio, Bobby Shmurda’s instant fame can be linked back to Vine, as well as YouTube and the general public. His song, “Hot N*gga,” accompanied with the Shmoney Dance, set the millennium ablaze in every way possible, and a then 22-year-old Shmurda was pop culture’s newest and biggest influence. Having inked a deal with Epic Records and shmoneying his way all the way to the bank, everyone seemed to be in pure hip-hop bliss — UNTIL HE GOT HIT WITH A SHMURDA CHARGE *dun dun DUUUUNNNN!* Long story short, homie’s been locked up ever since and will be for the next six years. Clearly, all the shmoney in the world couldn’t get him out of this mess!
Keep up with Da’Nelle via her Instagram: @nelliethesupastah, Twitter: @NellieGOnTheMic, and her website: danellelynise.com. Also, tune into her radio show, “The Night Cap w/ Nellie G. & Friends” every Wednesday night from 7-9 PM on WCRX 88.1 FM (@webenightcappin)!