Cardi B Debuts at No. 1 With ‘Invasion of Privacy’

On April 6, Cardi B released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. After a whirlwind press tour that included co-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and performing on Saturday Night Live, the first week totals are in. Invasion of Privacy has pushed 255,000 equivalent album units in its first week, making it the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. The total is also the second-biggest week of 2018 behind Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods (293,000 units).

Cardi’s dominance manifested itself in the streaming world as well, with Invasion of Privacy garnering 100 million streams worldwide in a week. That figure allowed Cardi B to eclipse Taylor Swift’s Apple Music record for the most worldwide streams of an album by a female artist in its first week, although the accomplishment comes under different circumstances.

“Since Swift’s album was not available on streaming services for its first three weeks of release, the comparison is not quite an equal one — Swift’s album sold 1.216 million copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music,” a Variety report noted.

Cardi B now joins Eve, Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Lauryn Hill as the only female rappers to top the Billboard 200. Nicki is the only member of that group to do so more than once.

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Cardi B’s Success Proves Why She Never Needed ‘Love & Hip Hop’

In clinical terms, Love & Hip Hop is a long-running reality franchise about the personal and professional struggles of figures in the music business. In colloquial terms, it’s a ratchet-reality soap opera with around 200 interwoven characters. Many of them exist at the periphery of the music industry; others have won Grammys, gone platinum, and crafted No. 1 records at some point in their career. In nearly every episode, there is an obligatory scene of one or more of them in the studio. But with very few songs released, we need to know: What exactly are they working on?

LHH is the cornerstone of Vh1. In 2017, the network had four of the top 10 unscripted shows on cable, and the Atlanta and New York editions were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. And shows weren’t measured in “social engagement” before Love & Hip Hop started dominating Twitter each time an episode aired. All this to say, everyone is watching the show. Everyone is talking about the show. But no one is fucking with the music from the show.

In fact, for a program called Love & Hip Hop, only one featured personality from its cast is actually relevant for their current musical output: a former stripper with minimal prior rap experience named Cardi B.

And no one saw her coming.

When Cardi joined Love & Hip Hop’s New York cast in season 6 she was already a social media starlet with over a million followers on Twitter (she now has 2.8M). She was known for her personality, not any musical inclinations, and had retired from the pole two months before the season premiere on December 14, 2015. By that point Cardi had started making a whole living off club appearances. But Vh1 wanted to portray her as a silly exotic dancer languishing in a messy situationship.

“Yo, it’s so crazy, like, them motherfuckers [the producers] really doubted me. It’s like, why would y’all doubt me? Like, I have seven hundred thousand bajillion followers,” she told THE FADER in February 2016. “I’m telling them like, ‘Yo, I have a brand. I’m not even an artist and I fill out clubs. Three thousand, whatever the crap, I fill them shits out!’ But they didn’t care about that. They just wanted to make me look as the stripper, a struggling stripper.”

love & hip hop may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry.

And indeed, she played her part. In her now-legendary LHH video introduction, Cardi announced, “Hey, America, washpoppin’? You might know me as that annoying dancer on social media that be talking hella crazy, with the long nails and the big ol’ titties, but I’m just a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx.” We went on to see Cardi’s frustration over Power 105 radio personality DJ Self, whom she slept with occasionally, not playing her music. In her words, he was “the hottest DJ in New York or whatever” and she was willing to deal with him seeing other women so long as he helped get her music played.

See, for most of the show’s history, that was the dynamic: The men were the legitimate figures in the industry, and the women were around to jockey for their assistance or attention. Remember how Stevie J. constantly threatened to send Joseline Hernandez back to the strip club on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta? Like no character before or after her, Cardi B. was able to flip the script.

To understand how disruptive Cardi was, we should rewind. The show’s earliest iteration, Keeping Up With the Joneses, centered around Dipset rapper Jim Jones, his longsuffering girlfriend Christine Lampkin, and outspoken mother, Nancy “Mama” Jones. But Jimmy became less interested after he released his most successful single, “We Fly High.” To save the show, manager Yandy Smith and her mentor, Violator Management co-founder Mona Scott-Young, bumped Jones down to supporting cast member, and elevated Chrissy and her friends to the main cast. Re-christened Love & Hip Hop, the show was now giving visibility to the women behind famous men in hip-hop.

Cardi B Couch
Image via MTV/TRL/Getty

Now, fast-forward: Cardi B. came on the show with a game plan, and it wasn’t to be behind anybody. Her cunning, singular focus is perhaps what allowed her to become the show’s unlikeliest success story. This theory makes more sense when you consider that Cardi quit after two seasons in order to pursue her music. She paused the shenanigans to go work on her craft, instead of posturing in the studio like many of the men we see every episode. Within months of leaving LHH, she released her second mixtape, signed a multimillion-dollar record deal, then released “Bodak Yellow.” And within a year of her last trip to Vh1, Cardi had a No. 1 record, two Grammy nominations, and multiple pop and hip-hop features dominating the charts.

Given her beloved personality, Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But unlike them, Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling.A lot of the n***as on that show are cornballs, but it is what it is,” clairvoyant Cardi said in an interview right before she left the LHH.

That about sums up why no one who continues to appear on the show is likely to break through on the charts any time soon. LHH may help raise an artist’s visibility, but for all the wrong reasons when it comes to their actual artistry. We all agreed amongst ourselves that the franchise was fake, but it was a juicy lie that we enjoyed pretending to believe. Cardi’s contrasting authenticity made us step into the light.

Cardi could’ve easily joined the likes of LHH mainstays Stevie J., Lil Scrappy, and Yung Joc, bouncing between spinoffs in reality TV purgatory. But Cardi didn’t want chasing checks from Mona Scott-Young to be her ceiling.

Millions of people rallied behind her as a person—she could have sold us anything she wanted after that, lip kits or weave—but she chose to sling hits. Cardi didn’t blow up the day after she left, no. But she was persistent and converted momentum into clout. Some of the credible artists remaining on LHH, like Remy Ma and Trina, haven’t been able to figure this part out yet—even though both have albums on the way and purposefully steer clear of the drama by limiting their camera time. There appears to still be an understanding of their brand equity, which is something many of their peers seem to lack, but the reality of reality TV is that it’s a means to an end.  

As we sit here in the afterglow of Cardi’s soon-to-be-crowned No. 1 debut album, her feature on Saturday Night Live, and third appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, we have to respect what she’s achieved. Cardi was an underestimated woman whose role on LHH was to orbit the “powerful” men, but yet she launched past them all. As a soon-to-be mother engaged to one of the hottest artists in the industry, she’s basically secured the love and the hip-hop without the cameras. It’s doubtful anyone else on the franchise can replicate those shmoney moves.

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Jimmy Fallon Wants Cardi B Back as Co-Host

It turns out Jimmy Fallon has a knack for gift-giving. During Cardi B's recent visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the late-night host gave her a nice package for her the baby in her tummy.

Page Six reports Fallon, who has two kids of his own, gave her a teddy bear wearing a T-shirt with one of Cardi's famous phrases: “Washpoppin,” a bedazzled bottle, a faux leopard fur jacket, and his own children’s book, Everything Is Mama. “She really got choked up when we started talking about baby books,” said Fallon.

After announcing her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live! while performing one of her latest singles “Be Careful,” Cardi joined Fallon as not only a guest but as “the first late-night co-host that isn't a white guy” as well. And she was so good, Fallon wants to bring her back for more hijinks.

“She was so fun to work with and funny at rehearsals…Had the whole crew laughing. I wish we could’ve had two hours,” said Fallon. As for her pregnancy announcement, Fallon relayed that it changed up Cardi's world. “It’s starting to feel real to her,” he said.

But she's ready. ” I'm a grown woman,” she said on The Breakfast Club yesterday. “I'm 25 years old [and] I'm going to say this in the most humblest way, I'm a shmillionaire and I'm prepared for this.”  

She's prospering on the music side as well after releasing her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, she's slated to take the stage at Coachella this weekend.

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Tiffany Haddish Says a Man Died After She Gave Him ‘Booty Action’ on the Dance Floor

Tiffany Haddish can make people laugh until they cry, but at least one time she might have made a man dance until he died.

While on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Haddish explained that before she was on her way to becoming a comedic legend, Haddish worked as an “energy producer” at bat mitzvahs where she was tasked with getting “the party hype.” During this time she would tell jokes, emcee, and even coordinate choreographed routines.

But in one instance, she grabbed an “older gentleman,” who Haddish guesses was in his '80s, to shake a leg.

“I got up and said, 'Come on, grandpa. Let's dance,” and I grabbed him by his tie and we was dancing and stuff and having a good time. And then I decided to turn it around on him and drop it like its hot, give him that booty action.” But when the faces around her shifted from happy to grave, that's when Haddish looked behind her to see that the “older gentleman” was no longer behind her but lying on his back on the floor.

“They ended up taking him to the hospital, and he passed away,” Haddish said. “I didn’t want to dance no more. I felt like this ass is deadly. You know like my moves are killer, I got killer moves. I didn’t dance for months.”

But that all changed when the man's daughter reached out to thank her and say that was the “happiest they'd seen him.” Their check and tip didn't hurt either.

While on the show, Fallon also congratulated Haddish on breaking three TBS premiere records with The Last O.G. “My goal in life is to make history. You know I always wanted to be the first black woman to do something. I'm killin' it.”

Along with The Last O.G.'s record-breaking stat, Haddish was the first black female comedian to host Saturday Night Live and is slated to be the first black woman to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Bucket list, checked.

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From the Mooch to Sloppy Steve: Trump’s Worst Hiring Decisions

Donald Trump frequently brags about his record-setting first year in office. But unless you're counting days playing golf or number of lies, there aren't very many records to brag about. 

But there is one way in which Trump is setting records—in staff turnover. Thirty-four percent of White House staff has been either fired, resigned, or been re-hired elsewhere. That's the highest first-year turnover rate in forty years, twice as high as the runner-up. 

Among that motley crew has been some absolutely unforgettable figures. Here are some of Trump's worst hiring decisions during his memorable first 365 days.

Anthony Scaramucci

Ah, who could forget the Mooch? The financier, indie film producer, and all-around loudmouth lasted only ten days in his gig as communications director before being shitcanned, but what a memorable week and a half it was. Remember when he quoted a cheesy pop song and said it was the work of Mark Twain? Or when he told a reporter that Steve Bannon was trying to do something that's anatomically impossible? There's one small consolation for a man who missed the birth of his own child in order to spend time with Donald Trump: he got to see himself played by Bill Hader on Saturday Night Live.

Steve Bannon

The lesson to be learned from Steve Bannon's short run at the top of the mountain is, if you're going to get a racist gasbag to help you make policy, at least make sure it's a loyal racist gasbag. Bannon managed to avoid the first few rounds of his boss' purges, but once the “adult in the room” John Kelly came on board as chief of staff, Mister Two Shirt's days were numbered. It took one interview where Bannon had a different position on North Korea than whatever garbage Trump was spouting that day, and he was out.

The coda came months later, when Sloppy Steve lost his other job after mouthing off about Trump's son to another reporter. He lost his sugar mama, lost Breitbart, and will soon be reduced to holding up signs that read “Will talk about how Bill Murray played me on SNL for money.”

Taylor Weyeneth 

The Office of National Drug Control Policy is a pretty fucking big deal. It makes sure that all of the government's various anti-drug initiatives are working together and it also is in charge of making sure that Trump's periodic moments of caring about the opioid epidemic translate into actual policy.

So it shocked even people who thought they were no longer capable of being shocked by White House incompetence when the Washington Post broke the story earlier this month that the ONDCP's deputy chief of staff was Taylor Weyeneth, a 24-year-old guy with no relevant experience, no interest in politics, and whose stepfather has a felony conspiracy conviction for processing illegal steroids. His only qualification? You guessed it—working on Trump's campaign. When all of this was exposed, Weyeneth was unsurprisingly demoted.

Tom Price

You would think that being in the President's cabinet is a pretty good deal. You get to attend fancy meetings, have an unbeatable line on your resumé, and maintain a cozy and lucrative afterlife lobbying for a coterie of evil influence-peddlers. 

Somehow, that wasn't enough for Trump's Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price—he needed to fly private, too. Politico uncovered the fact that Price had spent over $400K of taxpayer money on private jets. In the shadiest of shady ways to say “I'm sorry,” Price reimbursed the government less than $52K—an amount that he said would cover equivalent commercial tickets, but not anywhere close to the amount of dough that was actually spent. Price had no choice after the Politico story but to fall on his sword

Omarosa Manigault

While it's true that Trump's cabinet and judicial nominees—and, hell, even his interns—are overwhelmingly white, his (aptly named) White House has been a home to incompetent folks of all races. Case in point: Omarosa.

After appearing on four different Trump reality shows (The ApprenticeCelebrity ApprenticeThe Ultimate Merger, and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice), it was only natural that reality TV's number one villain would move into the White House with reality's number one villain

There was only one problem: she didn't really have a job. Other than crowing about her boss having an enemies list and having a White House wedding photo shoot, Maginault, whose official title was Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, didn't really seem to do anything. So in December she, like Bannon, got on John Kelly's bad side and “resigned.” As a final humiliation, she reportedly tried to sneak back into the White House, setting off alarms in the process.

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G Herbo Talks Chicago Rap Scene and Jay Z Supporting Colin Kaepernick on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, G Herbo joins Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska to talk about his new album Humble Beast and the current state of the Chicago rap scene from Chief Keef to Chance the Rapper. The crew also run through the day of news, which includes Jay Z's support of Colin Kaepernick on Saturday Night Live, Amber Rose and 21 Savage at the SlutWalk, and much more. 

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