Cardi B kept things real as she kicked off the 2021 American Music Awards Sunday night, getting the crowd whirled up. The “WAP” rapper made her hosting debut, live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where she brought down the house with a dramatic ensemble and her signature humour.

She stepped out in an elegant black gown with a dramatic feathered headdress and silver diamond jewelry — one of the many looks that she would have throughout the night. Cardi admitted that she was a bit nervous, but was going to make sure everyone had a great time.

“Damn this crowd is loud,” she belted as she welcomed everyone to the 2021 AMAs. “I ain’t gonna lie. I’m a little nervous. I’m sweating.”

She then noted that they would be celebrating everyone’s hometown, including hers; The Bronx.

With Cardi’s AMAs hosting debut, she joined a long list of rappers, actresses and global superstar AMA hosts, including Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Murphy, Jimmy Kimmel, Britney Spears, LL Cool J, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lionel Richie, and last year’s host, Taraji P. Henson.

Before opening the show, she arrived in a statement-making Schiaparelli look.

The 2021 American Music Awards aired live Nov. 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC and will stream the next day on Hulu.