Cardi B continues to prove herself a darling of the Recording Industry Association of America.
Not even two weeks ago, the ‘Bodak Yellow’ beauty saw her name colored in the institution’s record books as she became the most certified female rapper in digital history (click here to read more). Snatching the title from nemesis Nicki Minaj, B leads the genre’s ladies with a whopping 32.5 million certified sold records amassed in just 2 years.
Now, as her official debut single has surpassed the 9x platinum threshold, she’s penciling in yet another history-making achievement with the Association.
As ‘Bodak Yellow’ sits at the 9x platinum mark – meaning it has “sold” the equivalent of 9 million units in the United States – it now reigns as the highest certified female Rap song of all time. Besting the previous record holder (Minaj’s 8x platinum-certified ‘Super Bass’), the move places ‘Yellow’ just one certification away from diamond status, an impressive feat as she would become only the 24th artist in history to lay claim to such status. As if that’s not enough, she would also be the first female rapper in history with a Diamond single.
Congratulations to Cardi!
While we certainly tip our hats to the Trap Selena’s latest accomplishment, we would be remiss not to draw attention to a few noteworthy items. First, record certifications and sales are not synonymous. Being “certified” means an artist’s label had his or her sales audited, submitted that information to the RIAA for verification, and – once approved – the association provided a plaque to reflect the verified sales, streams, or shipments. With this in mind, the RIAA does not independently nor automatically award Gold, Platinum, or Diamond status to singles or albums.
Ok, Rashad you’re rambling. What does this all mean?
Although an artist is the most certified, he or she may not necessarily be the best selling. Case in point, consider Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Super Bass.’ With its last certification award gifted in December 2013 (per the RIAA’s official web site), the song has not had its audited sales reported in nearly 6 years. And, while it’s entirely possible it has not amassed the extra 2 million needed to cross Diamond status, it’s highly unlikely as the 8x platinum marker was passed BEFORE the RIAA began including streams in its calculations (as we reported here in February 2016).
Alas, until Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records has her numbers updated all we can do is a) speculate on its actual sales and b) report on what’s been made official.
The editorial note is by no means to minimize the significance of the RIAA as the accomplishments are groundbreaking and game-changing no matter how you spin them, but it is always important to remember context.