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GloRilla Talks Hip-Hop's 50th Anniversary

GloRilla Talks Hip-Hop's Major Impact: "It Paved the Way For Me to Be Able to Be Who I Am"

Hip-hop has been the gift that keeps giving to GloRilla — it's propelled her to success most new artists don't see this early on in their careers. Just a little over a year after dropping her breakout, now-platinum hit, "F.N.F. (Let's Go)," the Memphis native has added even more impressive accomplishments to her résumé. She's scored another platinum banger with "Tomorrow 2" collaborator Cardi B; released her debut EP, "Anyways, Life's Great"; performed at the 2022 American Music Awards and 2023 Grammy Awards (where she was also nominated for the first time); and, most recently, appeared in a nostalgic Sprite campaign with hip-hop heavyweights Nas and Rakim and fellow rising star Latto. And she's just getting started.

Today, GloRilla is still soaking in all of her achievements. One moment she can't get over, though, came along in February, when she shared the stage with hip-hop legends like LL Cool J, Method Man, Grandmaster Flash, and more during the Grammys' 50th anniversary tribute performance. She tells POPSUGAR the career milestone "felt surreal."

"That was a pinch-me moment," she says. "Being up there with all the people I listened to growing up as a child, it was just legendary."

"Hip-hop made me who I am today."

GloRilla admits she "was starstruck by all of them . . . every single person up there" — which included everyone from Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah to Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy, and Run-DMC. That's mainly because the 24-year-old rap artist never imagined that she'd be in such a position before even dropping a debut album. If someone had told her she'd become one of the most in-demand up-and-comers a year ago, she says, "I'd think they was lying and trying to play tricks on me."

That's not to say GloRilla's not grateful for all the love she's received thus far, especially as a woman who's part of the often hard-to-please hip-hop community. One person she's particularly thankful for is her friend Cardi B, whom she fondly refers to as her "cousin." As of late, the Grammy-winning "Up" rap star has made it her mission to tap in with today's generation of women rappers, even giving some like GloRilla personal cosigns. Yet GloRilla is still somewhat speechless when she recalls how their friendship began.

"I don't even know how to explain that moment," she says of Cardi B hopping on "Tomorrow 2," a remix of the song the "Lick or Sum" rapper initially dropped in July 2022. "It was just crazy because I was a Cardi fan before I actually started rapping, and she was one of the people that I did look up to. So when it first happened, it was a surprise to me. I didn't know what was going on."

According to GloRilla, Cardi B's feature was originally kept secret from her. "I wasn't even supposed to know," she explains. "I ended up texting her to get on another song, and then she [told] me that she was already on 'Tomorrow [2].' I was like, 'Wow, that's crazy.' So that was an iconic moment. That song going down in history."

The rising rapper knows she walks in the footsteps of hip-hop trailblazers like Lil' Kim, MC Lyte, Nicki Minaj, and "so many [other] names." Each one of her rap predecessors kicked down doors so young women like her could walk an easier path in the male-dominated culture. So GloRilla considers it a "huge accomplishment" to even be mentioned in the same breath as hip-hop's 50-year celebrations.

For that, she's forever thankful for how the culture has changed her life: "Hip-hop made me who I am today. . . . It paved the way for me to be able to be who I am right now."

Image Source: Getty / Simone Joyner Bennett Raglin Prince Williams
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