Controversy surrounds rapper Cardi B receiving Spirit of Detroit award

Rapper from New York wins Spirit of Detroit award

DETROIT – A well-known rapper received a Spirit of Detroit award Sunday night at the Masonic Temple, but there are mixed feelings about whether or not she deserves it.

Cardi B received the Spirit of Detroit award before her show Sunday night.

"Thank you, Detroit," Cardi B said in a video after receiving her award. "Thank you the city council of Detroit, Michigan, for giving me the Spirit of Detroit award."

"Cardi B's pretty alright," one fan said. "She keeps Detroit hype, I don't care. You ride down the street and you listen to cars in the summertime, everybody was (listening to) 'Bodak Yellow.'"

Many on social media complained that Cardi B is from the Bronx, New York, and hasn't done much in the way of helping Detroit.

"So how are you not from Detroit, but you got an award from Detroit? Especially the spirit award? That's kind of weird," one resident said.

City council members began issuing statements saying it wasn't them or their office who were responsible for the award.

"The Cardi B Spirit of Detroit award was not presented by me or my office," City Councilman James Tate said in a statement. "This is not even close to being the biggest issue we are facing in our city, but we're trying to find out who provided it."

Cardi B fans said the award is not about being from Detroit, but about the spirit that defines Detroit.

"I feel like they gave her that award because she's accomplished so much, and it's just to motivate people to know that you can do it, you've just got to work at it," a fan said.

"The Spirit of Detroit should be loving, giving," a resident said. "Everyone's welcome. You can't just shut people out, (like), 'Oh, you're not from Detroit. We can't give you an award.' That's crazy."

Here is an official statement from City Councilwoman Brenda Jones, which was sent out around 7 p.m. Monday:

"As stated on the City of Detroit’s website, 'A Spirit of Detroit Award can be requested from any Council Member for a person, event or organization being honored for an outstanding achievement or service to the citizens of Detroit. Submission of the name of the person, event, or organization and the reason for being honored is required.'

"Radio One, 107.5 FM, requested the Spirit of Detroit Award for Cardi B. She was honored for her outstanding achievement as the current, top female rapper on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

"Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones’ office received, and honored the request. Those desiring to honor someone with a City of Detroit Spirit of Detroit Award are welcome to submit a request at 313.224.1245 or online at"

You can watch Steve Garagiola's full story in the video posted above.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.