For thousands of El Pasoans, a wad of three crumpled ticket stubs represented the ultimate Bardi gang loyalty after an 18+ month waiting game to watch the star perform at the El Paso County Coliseum.
Third time was the charm for the highly anticipated Cardi B concert October 8 after two cancellations stemming from physical limits of a late third trimester during the 2018 Neon Desert Music Festival and most recently, medical complications from cosmetic surgery in May 2019.
Still, the rapper owned the setbacks with a Cardi-like sincerity.
“I got lipo.. my baby [expletive] me up, I had to,” Cardi announced to thousands of eager fans. “Some of ya’ll didn’t believe I was gonna come, I came though. And I wanna say I loooooove ya’ll and I’m soooooooorry. Now let’s turn the [expletive] up.”
Covering snippets from almost the entirety of her last album Invasion of Privacy and her latest singles Money and Press from her upcoming Tiger Woods release in 2020, the Cardi B show was well worth the wait.
What was missing in duration (it lasted about 50 minutes) made up in production quality and stage presence. Beyond her fiery rap game, vibrant light engineering and rousing pyrotechnics, the provocative musician emanates a ‘hood charm’ that connects her audience with a ‘keep-it-real’ approachability laced with burlesque comedy.
A memory is stickiest with sentiment and Cardi melts dicey moves and humor with mindful effect.
The stage however, was already on fire prior to Cardi B’s performance thanks to El Paso’s own female rapper Krystall Poppin.
The evolving musician expanded her fandom amongst unbeknownst Cardi B early birds whose expressions showed a sense of awe when she announced her pride for her native hometown as she thanked the crowd for sharing her moment.
“Opening for Cardi B was absolutely the most rewarding moment in my music career so far,” Poppin said. “It definitely reminded me why I started making music in the first place. Now I know that I can tackle any stage that comes my way from now on.”
Led by the infectious hype energy of her DJ, See3AM, Miss Poppin performed tracks from her recent album release, Raw Gold Honey with an explosive grace that owned the stage.
I'm a writer at heart. Though my soul delves in various crafts including but not limited to photography, event planning, marketing, sloppy two-stepping, crowdsurfing at good shows, saving animals (sometimes people) and pretending to be the Chopped champ every night in my kitchen. My career sense is gracefully schizophrenic, having jumped from working under the wing of a neurosurgeon (quickly learning the stomach couldn't handle bloody brains too well) broadcast television, marketing, retail advertising, event planning and concert booking. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. But I'm a writer at heart.