She likes dollars, she likes diamonds, she likes stunting, she likes shining — and boy, did she ever shine tonight. Cardi B's performance at the 2019 Grammys was, in a word, "shmoney" — meaning, it definitely didn't disappoint. At last year's show, the Bronx-born rapper performed "Finesse" alongside Bruno Mars, but this year, the spotlight was solely on her.
When the 26-year-old rapper appeared on stage, she was 'fitted out in a glorious, voluminous purple cape and a semi-sheer, full-length leopard bodysuit, adorned with all kinds of diamond embellishments. It was basically like a Rated R version of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
The set itself, though, was pretty minimal — basically just a bunch of multi-level risers and one badass chick playing the piano center-stage — which made it hard to take your eyes off Cardi while she rapped and grinded to her latest single, "Money."
Once the cape came off, Cardi proved that she was really and truly born to flex. There were a ton of dancers surrounding her for the entirety of the performance — they were all incredibly skilled, no doubt — but Cardi commanded the crowd. She spent most of the performance in one place on the stage, but eventually made her way down the short, spiral staircase to take her place on the throne — AKA the piano at the front and center of the stage.
She finished the song looking like a literal peacock. Seriously — dancers surrounded her with feather plumes and put them together in an incredible spread. Also, they matched her leopard-print bodysuit, which made for a very cool look.
And it marked a big change from her Grammys performance last year. When Cardi performed "Finesse" with Mars at the 2018 show, it was as a guest on another artist's track. The performance was dope, no doubt about it, but the fact that she got to do her own song this year marked an important moment in her career.
It's also worth mentioning that Cardi's 2019 Grammy nominations further prove her strength as a solo artist. In 2018, she was nominated for "Bodak Yellow" in two different categories: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Sadly, she didn't win either, but now she's got five more nominations under her belt.
At the 2019 Grammys, Invasion of Privacy is up for both Best Rap Album and Album of the Year. "Be Careful" is up for Best Rap Performance, "I Like It" is up for Record of the Year, and "Girls Like You" — on which she was a featured guest for Maroon 5 — is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
Honestly, Cardi deserves all the awards this year. Name one artist who had a bigger year than Cardi B did in 2018. I'll wait. Even if she doesn't end up winning anything, she's already won with her performance of "Money." So good.