Cardi B’s new single, “Up,” carries a hint of familiarity to many rap fans, enough so that New Jersey rappers Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos accused Cardi of jacking their 2020 song “Stuck.” But while the songs' choruses do bear a striking similarity, the underlying phrase has much deeper roots in rap music and regional slang.
On the track, Cardi raps:If it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s stuck
Fontane and Pesos noted that the lyrics and flow are similar to their September 2020 track, “Stuck,” where Fontane raps:If it’s up then it’s stuckUp then it’s stuck, yeah
Cardi hit back at the accusations by noting that she had previewed her own chorus last August, before Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos' video was officially released:
Fontane did note, however, that the track was previewed online before Cardi’s Instagram Live:
In a recent YouTube Live interview, she described Offset as her inspiration. “I feel like this is more like of an Atlanta thing, I don’t know, a Georgia thing,” she said.
The phrase—which refers to an issue that won’t go away until it’s properly resolved—does trace its roots to southern regional slang, with a particular popularity amongst rappers from cities like Baton Rogue, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and Atlanta. Genius lyric records show nearly 100 variations of “it’s up, it’s stuck” appearing in songs by artists like Lil Baby, Yung Bleu, Kevin Gates, Yungeen Ace, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Sada Baby, Stunna 4 Vegas, and more. Travis Scott used the phrase in his March 2020 JACKBOYS song “Out West”:
Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos also point to Cardi’s cadence and flow, as well as her repetitive use of the phrase as the “Up” hook, while drawing a comparison to their own song. However some of these elements are also common in rap music. Take this June 2020 song by 333Rockstars, for example:
Back in December, a Future song called “Stuck There” surfaced online that uses the repeated phrase “once it’s up it’s stuck there” as its chorus.
While the basis of Cardi’s hook certainly isn’t original, it doesn’t appear to be “stolen” from a singular source. Instead, she uses a common regional slang phrase that’s frequently adapted into hip-hop music to underscore her song.
Read all the lyrics to Cardi B’s “Up” on Genius now.
This article has been updated to note that Mir Fontane and Mir Pesos previewed the song online before its official release.