Unconventional. Mega Talented. Super Controversial! Cardi B’s rise to superstardom has always ruffled feathers, so yes, not everyone is awed by the rap star’s explosive rhymes and oh so daring performances, while some can’t help but cheer on proudly, the detractors mic sounds on unrelentingly.
However, one cannot deny her story and rise to fame is no doubt truly exceptional. From stripper to world famous star, fearless, bold and super determined, the rap star seems to be topping charts and bagging accolades by the minute regardless of her haters. Cardi has applaudably turned her life around before us and just keeps winning.
“I want to show people that you can do positive things, but you can also be yourself,” she says. “I like justice. I like to work and be creative. But I also like popping my pussy.”
On What Election Day Was Like In Cardi’s household:
“I was having fun with my kid, but then I kept looking on Instagram and was getting jittery. [Before the election], I just felt like Biden had this in the bag. Then Election Day came, and I’m seeing so many states are just red, period. It just surprises you when you don’t hear people around you saying, “Oh, I don’t support Trump.” There’s other people that don’t really think like us. Millions of people who are not on the same page as you and don’t understand what he did wrong and why we’re so anxious. I’m like, “Oh, shit. I’m getting nervous now.”
You know, we always talking shit about this country, even though we’re from this country. At the end of the day, we need to understand we are a big example to other countries. I’m seeing France celebrate Biden’s win. I seen Haiti celebrate the win of Biden. When my parents came to this country, they just thought this was the land of dreams and shit. Everybody around the world thinks the same way, even though we don’t see it because we live here. It’s important to set a good example, show unity and have somebody that represents us the right way.”
When Biden’s projected win was finally announced, a special kind of unity was witnessed, especially when fans sang “WAP” outside the White House. What was it like to see that?
“I just feel like it was such a big victory for me and for Megan. I’m so used to listening to raunchy female rap music since I was a little girl — Trina, Khia, Lil’ Kim, Jacki-O, Foxy [Brown]. “WAP,” to me, was just a regular raunchy female rap song, but it caused so much controversy. So many Republicans — not just any Republicans that got an Instagram following, but a lot of Republicans that got blue checks [on Twitter] and millions of followers, [like Ben] Shapiro, Candace Owens, Tomi Lahren — were talking so much crap about “WAP.” So it was just a victory for me seeing people celebrating Biden’s win with my and Megan’s song. Power of the pussy, ya heard?!”
On why it was important to involve daughter, Kulture at such a young age in participating in the Show Me the Signs campaign, which paid tribute to Breonna Taylor and Black women killed by police?
“I just thought she was looking really cute — and I want her to grow up knowing how the world really is. My daughter came out of my pussy rich. She lives a different lifestyle than I lived. This girl gets in a pool every single day; I can’t swim because I barely went to the pool. There was only one community pool where I’m from. I want her to know that just because you have money, that doesn’t mean you’re super-privileged.
Even me with her dad [rapper Offset], we have had really bad experiences with police, and we’re rich and famous. I want her to know that you’re not going to be an exception. I want her to have compassion. I don’t want her to ever have the mentality of, “This doesn’t apply to me.”
On if she considers herself an activist:
“I don’t know if I’m an activist. I’m a Libra — we are the justice sign. I like fairness, and I have compassion toward everybody. This is the type of person that I’ve always been. When I was a stripper, I posted the same shit that I post now. I was doing marches in Harlem. But I don’t want people to think, “Oh, she’s an activist.” There’s people out here that really go off and beyond, like a Tamika [Mallory] or Shaun King, who go out of their way to really help. I feel like those are activists. I don’t want to take away from what they are. I just want to be a person with a platform that believes in good.”
Last year you said you struggled with being perceived as a role model. Do you still feel that way?
Definitely. Let’s say something is ugly, right? Everybody in the comments is saying it’s ugly, but you’re saying it’s pretty. If you have the unpopular comment, then you’re in the wrong. So you gotta be careful with what comes out of your mouth. You can’t even call people ugly nowadays! I’m not saying I want to call people ugly — you just can’t even be yourself anymore.
Cardi B is photographed on November 17, 2020 at Quixote Studios in Los Angeles. Styling by Kollin Carter. Hair by Kellon Deryck. Makeup by Priscilla Ono.