As it stands, the BET Hip-Hop Awards is the only awards show left that feels like it matters when it comes to rap music. The Grammys barely acknowledge rap music as a genre and the voters aren’t quite who you’d call hip-hop’s primary demographic; the VMAs sometimes get it right, but more often than not, rap loses out to more traditional pop that caters to more middle-of-the-road sensibilities (while only the biggest names even get nominated in the first place). So, a BET Hip-Hop Award nomination feels like it means a little more for an up-and-coming rapper like Cardi B — who had nine nominations — because it means people who know hip-hop, top-to-bottom, are the ones who’ve decided you belong.
With that being said, the 24-year-old, “Bodak Yellow” rapper appeared to be absolutely ecstatic after winning Single Of The Year and Best New Artist. During her acceptance speech, she thanked her fans, her family, her label Atlantic, and boyfriend Offset for supporting her while being joined onstage by Offset, DJ Khaled and his son Asahd, Black Chyna, and Lil Yatchy. She also won “Hustler Of The Year” award, and deservedly so. Her hustle from stripper to Love & Hip-Hop cast member to beloved social media icon to legitimate rap superstar is well-documented and she’s reached heights no other female rap star has ever achieved. She didn’t really need validation from the award show, but it’s nice to have, and it’s one more set of wins to cap her breakout year.