Cardi B's Dominican Culture Celebrated in Video for Hit Single, 'I Like It'

The song pays homage to her background.

Rap queen Cardi B’s single, “I Like It” has been steadily climbing the charts since the April 6 release of her debut album, "Invasion of Privacy."

The track, which features Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny and Colombian artist J Balvin, isn’t just a hit — it reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Monday — but the tune also pays homage to the star’s Dominican culture.

Cardi B was born to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother.

In the video for "I Like It," which has more than 91 million views on YouTube, Cardi’s culture is apparent. sat down with Ramona Hernandez, a professor at The City College of New York and director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, to elaborate on the representations of the Dominican Republic weaved throughout the video. 

With shots of the Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Colombian flags flashed throughout the video, the celebration of the Hispanic culture is obvious, but Hernandez points out additional examples of cultural appreciation that are perhaps more subtle, from popular frozen treats to hookah smoking, to women in the video wearing flowers in their hair. 

"I think this is what is fascinating about Cardi B [is] that her identity, her pride of her ethnicity, her culture, it’s intertwined with what she does," Hernandez said.

The video is filled with color and Cardi, who is currently pregnant, dons a host of outfits inspired by Caribbean culture.

“The rhythm, the beating, the color, the dancing, all simultaneously representing a culture that is alive," Hernandez said. "A culture that emphasizes color, rhythm."

Cardi has become a beacon of hope for Dominican girls. Earlier this year, she was nominated for an award at the Dominican Republic’s Premios Sobreanos 2018 ceremony.

“No matter how poppin’ I am in America I always felt like I wouldn't be poppin’ in DR cause I make English music and DR is a Spanish speaking country,” Cardi said on Instagram after the nomination. “That’s why I decided to do Bodak Yellow Spanish with my good talented friend [Messiah Gram].”

She also raps in Spanish on another popular track with Puerto Rican star Ozuba on his single “La Modelo.”

Hernandez comments on the fact that Cardi's lyrics in "I Like It" which samples Pete Rodriguez’s famous “I Like It Like That," exemplify a woman who is "in control."

“I clearly associate that with Dominican culture, with Dominican women," Hernandez said. "When you look at Dominican migration for instance, it’s dominated by Dominican women. Women are the first ones to leave."

Hernandez added that Cardi B, who grew up in the Bronx — a heavily Dominican neighborhood — definitely understands the culture.

“Her Dominican people, for everything that I have seen here in the U.S., embraced Cardi B as one of them," she said.