Cardi B is Billboard‘s Woman of the Year!
It’s fitting, then, that the femcee covers the Women In Music 2020 issue.
Beyond posing it up for the striking spread, the rapper sat down for an insightful interview.
Ever candid, Cardi opened up about her new album, motherhood, navigating the industry without a “traditional manager,” the success of ‘WAP,’ her next female collaboration, and more.
Read after the jump…
“I just hoped it would debut in the top 20. It did better than I even thought it would. I was crying and shit. When I heard Megan’s verse, I’m like, “Oh, shit. Sounds even better now. Woo!” I had this song for almost a year. I said I’m a Libra, so you know I’m very indecisive. The guys around my team liked other songs because they’re more gangsta. When I linked up with Megan and it was time for me to send her a song, I was like, “This has to be the song. There’s no other song that makes sense for me to put her on. This girl is freaky-deaky — I know she’s gonna kill it,” and she did.”
On Her New Music & Incoming Album:
I have one song that is very personal and deep. It’s with another female artist, but even when I was recording it, I had to take a lot of breaks. I was looking at my engineer and he was looking like, “Yeah, Cardi, I feel you.”
When it comes to me writing or putting ideas of my personal life [in the music], I get really shy.
On Being Business Savvy Without A Traditional Manager:
“These past several months, I have become more business-savvy. I just hired somebody that runs a big business to hire other people to review my [deals]. I’m telling you, there’s gonna be bigger changes. A lot of these companies, they want to give you a couple million dollars to represent them, and it’s like, “OK, but what am I really getting out of it?” If 1% of my followers buy your product, you’re going to make triple what you’re paying me. I’m making sure I’m not selling myself short. I’m making sure people are reviewing sh*t right. It’s a lot of game that I have learned. Slowly but surely, I know I’m gonna get better. I know the value I bring to a company, and that’s one thing artists have to understand. I feel like in 2021 I’m gonna come up real strong.”
On Letting Her Daughter See Breonna Taylor Campaign She Was Involved In:
“I want her to grow up knowing how the world really is. My daughter came out of my p*ssy 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 Whether She Sees Herself As 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 sh*t 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.”
On Struggling With The Idea Of Being A Role Model:
“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.
Am I a role model? I know I’m a role model because I know there’s a lot of women like me. At the end of the day, I know I’m a b*tch that made it through because I work my ass off, not because luck fell on my thighs.
I want to show people that you can do positive things, but you can also be yourself. I’m a very sexual person. I love sex, and I like to rap about it. I like to do it. I admire my husband’s penis. I love pussy, and I love my body, and I want to be able to express that. I’m just a naughty girl, and I’m not hurting nobody because I love my pussy and want to rap about it.”