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Newcomer Cardi B surprises in US hip hop award nods

New York (AFP) – Cardi B, who has quickly emerged as one of the top women in rap, on Thursday tied established stars Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled in the BET Hip Hop Awards nominations.

A former stripper from New York with hard-driving rhymes, the 24-year-old Cardi B has neared the top of the mainstream US chart with her debut single “Bodak Yellow,” which came out in June.

The singer, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, is up in nine categories at the BET Hip Hop Awards, the most closely watched prizes dedicated exclusively to the genre.

Industry players plus selected fans who submitted applications will determine winners of the awards, which will take place October 6 in Miami and be broadcast four days later on BET, or Black Entertainment Television.

Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled are also each nominated in nine categories including the key Album of the Year.

Lamar, 30, enjoys wide critical acclaim. He led the Grammys, the music industry’s highest profile awards, after his album “To Pimp a Butterfly” and last month dominated the MTV Video Music Awards amid the success of his latest work, “DAMN.”

The 41-year-old DJ Khaled, who is a Miami native, made his name as a producer before more recently finding success on his own — boosted by celebrity cameos on the tracks and an active social media presence.

Rap mogul Jay-Z and fast-rising Chicago star Chance the Rapper are tied for second place with five nominations each.

Jay-Z is nominated for Album of the Year for “4:44,” an introspective return to music in which he apologetically acknowledges infidelity to his wife Beyonce and supports his mother as she comes out as lesbian.

Two acts from Atlanta are also up for Album of the Year — Future, the prolific rapper who made history in March by hitting number one in back-to-back weeks with different albums, and rap trio Migos.

Also in the running is J. Cole for “4 Your Eyez Only,” a 10-track reflection on racial and economic inequality that charts the life of a character named James.

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