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The paid number was 75,580 but it felt more like 77,000 people took up the aisles, the seats and wherever else they could stand in order to see Cardi B. The Grammy-award winner not only set a Black Heritage Night record at RodeoHouston, she set an overall concert attendance record, shattering the mark set by Ariana Grande for a female act, Selena for a Latina act and an overall record originally set by none other than Garth Brooks.

Running through two years worth of hits in a 45-minute set, the Bronx born dynamo rocked some pretty fashionable rodeo attire while showing off some dance moves, body rolling and living up to the hype of this rodeo season’s most must-see event. Tickets for her concert on Friday (Mar. 1) sold out faster than any other performer during the 19-day rodeo.

It was maybe a move in course correction to secure Cardi after last year’s Black Heritage Night performer, Leon Bridges only brought a paid attendance of 51,000+ into NRG Stadium. Which, isn’t his fault but given the idea and concept of the rodeo, Bridges was too niche to some. Cardi? A whole different level of crossover appeal.

From lusty seduction with her latest single “Please Me” to the tough girl anthem of “Backin’ It Up” minus Pardison Fontaine, Cardi kept her energy on high, even if she told the crowd with some air under her feet, “A girl got asthma, I need some water.”

“Trap Selena” felt inspired by her counterpart, the original Selena for her “Please Me” video. On stage, it was all cowgirl and sex appeal and even though she told Rodeo officials that she wouldn’t curse during her set … it’s Cardi, and that unfiltered nature of hers is why she’s America’s sweetheart right now.

“The purpose of the rodeo is to collect money, to give scholarships out,” she told the crowd. “Any job you pick, whether it’s a doctor … or a f***ing stripper, you gonna need some education.”

It wasn’t a kid-friendly act, especially as camera crews panned up whenever she began twerking or dancing. The crowd roared every time she danced, some in the stands joining her as cramped as it may have been. Nevertheless, you don’t realize how much of an arsenal of hits Bardi has until you hear them with 75,000+ people rapping them word for word. “I Like It,” “Ring,” “Money Bag,” “Finesse,” “Bodak Yellow,” “Get Up 10,” the list goes on.

If only she transitioned to “Bibi Bom Bom” after the “Trap Selena” like from “Motorsport.”


  • First Female Rapper To Headline A RodeoHouston Set
  • Attendance Record For Black Heritage Night (previous record holder: Usher in 2014)
  • One Of Five Women To Play A Concert Of More Than 70,000 People In NRG Stadium (Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Kacey Musgraves are the other four)
  • One of only two hip-hop acts to perform in front of 70,000+ people at NRG Stadium (Jay-Z)

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Photo Credit: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle