Cardi B Shouts Out Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Trina & More As Inspirations


Female rappers are currently having a standout year. Recording artists like Cardi B have helped elevate women in Hip Hop to mainstream prominence with popular records and social media interactions.


The New York Times presented a retrospection on Hip Hop for the culture’s 50th anniversary in 2023. As part of the project, numerous rap stars reflected on their personal journeys in their own words.

For her section of the NYT piece, Cardi B noted some of the people that influenced her to make the transition from an exotic dancer to a Diamond-certified musician. Hip Hop legends such as Missy Elliott and Trina served as inspirations for the Bronx, New York native.

“An unforgettable moment as a child was when I saw Missy Elliott take off her head in the ‘One Minute Man’ video, and that just made me like, go crazy for it,” recalled Cardi B. “That’s all I wanted. It’s like, I don’t want to hear Barney anymore… I don’t want to hear Disney movies music anymore. I just automatically got into Hip Hop.”

Cardi B’s Cousins Introduced Her To Female Rappers

After becoming a breakout star of the Love & Hip Hop reality television show franchise, Cardi went on to release her Gangsta B#### Music mixtapes. The Grammy winner also addressed relationship issues in songs like “Be Careful” and embraced sex-positive messages in singles like “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion.

“My female cousins that were older than me, they always listened to Lil Kim, Foxy, all the girls that [were] out at the moment,” Cardi B stated. “Then I got into Trina’s type of music. Trina makes like, you know, a nasty, freak nasty type of music.”

She continued, “Lil Kim does freak nasty too, but I feel like they have different types of style. The route for me was more of a Trina route. It’s crazy because I’m a New Yorker, but I was always into that Trina and the Khia and the Jacki-O type of vibe.”

Cardi B also told the Times, “As a teen, it just made me be like, yeah, ‘I wanna be [expletive] like them.’ And that’s how I really am, actually. I started doing music when I was 23, but I was listening to these girls at 15, 16, 17, 18. So the personality that their music gave me stuck to me.”