When rapper Belcalis Almanzar, known by her stage name “Cardi B,” performed at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on Friday, audience members didn’t expect her to be awarded for her outstanding service to her city the next morning.
“I feel very special and blessed. … Thank you CITY OF DETROIT for giving me THE SPIRIT OF DETROIT AWARD,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Thank you Hot 107.5 radio station for making it happen.”
The award, which is given out by Detroit City Council, is described on the city’s website as a way to honor outstanding achievement or service to the citizens of Detroit. While previous recipients such as Xscape, Dru Hill and Bow Wow prove the award does not have to go to a Detroit native, some people are questioning just how much of an impact Cardi B, who is a native of the Bronx, has on the city of Detroit.
Kash Doll, a Detroit-born hip-hop artist and previous award recipient, showed her disapproval of the situation in a tweet.
“I already got one, it’s just weird nothing against her I just thought u had to put work in the city to get it like other artist (sic) in Detroit,” she tweeted.
Kamal Smith, a producer at Hot 107.5, told the Free Press while the station did present her with the award, he didn’t know who nominated her or which city council member approved the nomination. He did say, though, he was excited for the rapper.
“(Cardi B) is doing a lot for the city that the public may not know,” he said.
Smith said the rapper is helping schools and making other positive change in the city, not for public credit, but out of the goodness of her heart.
His radio show, “Morning Heat,” talked to listeners about their thoughts on the matter, finding mixed reviews from the rest of the city, too. Detroit’s city council has not put out an official comment yet, but Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, D-Ward 5, posted a public Facebook announcement denying responsibility for the award.
“Hey Detroit, My office did NOT present Cardi B with a Spirit of Detroit Award last night at the masonic temple,” Sheffield wrote. “This is no disrespect to her, I just want to be clear. Every artist that I have given an award to has worked with me personally to uplift and empower our youth in the city of Detroit.”