Cardi B has come a long way since her breakout role as a cast member on Love & Hip Hop: New York in 2016. With the success of her 2017 hit single “Bodak Yellow,” the reality television star has evolved into an award-winning artist. Recently, Cardi’s hit single “Bodak Yellow” went diamond, making history as the highest certified single by a female rapper. The Bronx native also made history at the 2019 Grammys, when her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, won Best Rap Album. This was the first time a solo female hip-hop artist received the award.
Since then, the rapper has begun to expand and grow her empire outside of the realm of music. She acted in 2019 Hustles alongside Jlo. She served as a judge on Netflix’s Rhythm+Flow. She even used her platform to publicly speak out about political issues, interviewing Bernie Sanders and the now-president Joe Biden during the elections.
Cardi attributes her financial growth not only as an artist but as a businesswoman to learning her value.
“Sometimes I feel like a company might see, you know, a girl like me,” Cardi says. “I’m a colored girl and I’m from the hood and shit. And they might be like, ‘Oh, we could offer her a $2 million advance.’ And the company is gonna make out of you, probably fucking $50 million, $100 million. And you settle for $2 million because they think that you’re so thirsty for that money that they just gonna give you the $2 million.”
“I just feel like if you want to keep hiring me,” she adds. “I figured that you’re making a lot of money out of me. I just feel like that little $2 million, that little $3 million, I mean, sometimes even a little $5 million, ’cause I get 5 [million], $10 million deals. I just feel like, you gotta be making triple.”
By doing her research and knowing her worth, Cardi continues to garner high-paying deals. The “Up” rapper also attributes that her husband Offset for helping her negotiate her bigger deals.
“My husband, he’s really fucking smart with numbers.” the rapper explains. “He’s super direct and when he tells me the truth and when he be like, ‘You deserve this. You need this. You need that,’ it’s just like, he’s not telling me this because he’s gonna benefit something from it. There’s nothing to benefit. He just want to see me win.“
Although the internets and blogs constantly create “female” rap beef, Cardi explains that she’s against cattiness. On her various social media pages, she has publicly endorsed other female artists whose music she likes.
“If I like you, I’m gonna endorse you. If I like your music, I’m gonna tell you that I like your music. I’m not in no catty shit,” says Cardi.
The GRAMMY-winning artist recalls rumors that once pinned Cardi and fellow ‘WAP’ rapper Megan thee Stallion against each other.
“When Megan [Thee Stallion] came out, people for a whole year was like, ‘I never seen Cardi and Megan together. I know they don’t fucking like each other.’ I feel like people kept putting me against her and everything,” Cardi explains. “I was like, Damn. That sucks. Because I like her music.”
But once the duo’s met, their relationship flowed.
“When I met her, you know, it was just dope,” the rapper says. “And it was a very natural, smooth [meeting]. We did a song, and it went so smoothly and it went so well. Even with this “WAP” performance [for the Grammys], it went so smoothly. It went so well.”
“I will congratulate her as well. I’m gonna always show her love. Like, it’s just a super respect thing,” she adds.
Together, the duo created one of the most controversy songs of 2020.
For some, the sexually explicit song was empowering and expressive. For others, the lyrics deemed Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion as “anti-role models.”
The controversy incited by the single took the rapper completely by surprise.
“I was really surprised by it because I’m like, I don’t understand what’s the uproar about it,” Cardi says.
Growing up listening to female rap pioneers such as Foxy Brown and Lil Kim, Cardi didn’t understand the problem with her lyrics.
“I grew up listening to Trina and Khia and fucking Lil’ Kim. Like, Lil’ Kim says some real nasty shit. Foxy [Brown] says some nasty shit.”
Since her breakout single in 2017, the rapper has had nine records reach the top 10 on Billboard Hot 100. ‘WAP’ made history as the highest streamed song in its opening week.
It’s been three years since Cardi’s debut album; later in the interview, the rapper touches on her next project’s release.
“I feel like at this point, it’s like a timeline that I created,” says Cardi. “Because last year, I was like, I gotta put out my album this year. But, then I just stopped working on my album out of nowhere because I feel like the whole COVID thing discouraged me to put out my album.”
“I want to meet up with people,” the rapper explains. “I want to have a conversation. It’s a better vibe. I love album release parties. I would love an album release party in New York. I could have one in Atlanta, but I want one also at home. And I want to see people. I shouldn’t fly out 50 of my friends just so they could be there in Atlanta, and then somebody might catch COVID.”
Although the rapper is discouraged by the pandemic’s limitations, she is adamant that her sophomore album will be released sometime this year.
Click here, to read the full interview on XXL.