LOVE & HIP HOP: NEW YORK Star/Model/Rapper/Comedian CARDI B is currently working on her forthcoming mixtape, GANGSTA B*TCH MUSIC, VOL. 2 and covers the November 2016 issue of VIBE: VIVA Magazine!!!
Here are some interview interludes:
I really don’t look up to anybody that is doing that great in life, because I don’t know their story. However, I do look up to women who—like, I have a lot of friends and they’re 27, 28, 30, and still dancing. My friends are the ones that be like, “Yo, do you see how hard I gotta work and I’m 30 and I’m running out of time? B***h, you do not wanna be like me. That’s why you gotta work your a** off. Invest your money.” When I started dancing, I should have saved my money. When I was your age, I should have saved my money. Those women, the ones that still have to hustle and dance, they inspire me.
I don’t feel like anyone should follow what I did. I don’t feel like you should be walking around thinking, “Yeah, I want to be a dancer.” But I’ll say this: always have a goal, always have a second plan. Because in every field, whether it’s dancing or something else, you gotta work hard for it. If a girl was to ask me, “You think I should be a stripper?” I would tell her straight up, “You could be. You gonna make money. But you gonna spend a lot of it, too, and you might start using drugs.” Because there’s so much young girls that go in the strip club and some people be like, “Loosen up, get a drink. Loosen up, pop a molly,” and then you start doing it regularly.
I only know my struggle. I’ve dealt with the struggle in the night life and trying to get in the industry. I never realized the struggle of other women that try to build their companies, or represent people. I’d never had to see how they struggle, and I saw it and thought, “Damn.” They have an education and look at how hard they still have to work. I be feeling like, “Damn, I work so hard,” but I’m not the only one that works hard. I walked away knowing that we all work hard, but in our different ways and in our different fields. I feel real proud of myself because when I see people that come from places like NYU—to go to NYU, you have to be extremely smart, so for me to see extremely smart people saying, “I look up to you. You inspire me,” I can’t even believe it. My a** inspired your smart a**? It’s just unbelievable, and it’s just something that really makes me feel good. I still can’t believe it because I feel like I’m just such a simple person and everybody be like, “Stop it,” but I just really can’t believe it. People that have majors and degrees and stuff.
I don’t think me showing my body should be a problem or anyone’s concern. Do you think I paid for my a** and my titties for me not to show it? Let’s imagine that I was a big girl. Do you think I would lose all my weight for me not to show off my new physique? If I like my body and I want to show it off, I’m well within my right to do so. And if it’s a way for me to make money—why not? Why not make money from me, from what I got? Why not? It is what it is. Would it make a difference if I told you I went to school?
Everything I do, I take seriously. Everything, everything, everything. Everything I do takes me time. I don’t want people to think I became a rapper because I was on Love and Hip Hop. There are a couple of songs that are on the mixtape that I been did before Love and Hip Hop, it just wasn’t completely perfect. It wasn’t completely perfect and everything takes time. It took me like a year to complete the mixtape. Everything I do, it takes a lot of time for me to do it because only the best sells, you know? If you want people to take you seriously, you gotta do the best. For example, my eyeshadow line. I been planning, been talking about it for a year, and it still hasn’t released yet because it’s not the way I want it to be. It has to be extremely perfect. Only great things sell.
You know one thing that bothers me, and I really wanna let people know? A lot of people be like, “All these little b***hes want to be like Cardi B” or they wanna be like, “If Cardi B inspires you, you’re a hoe.” But I don’t think I inspire them to the point where they want to be dancers, though. I just feel like I influence people because I’m like—I was practically homeless. A lot of people think dancers don’t struggle. Yes we do. We struggle a lot. Not only mentally, but it’s not fun all the time. There are nights you could make two to three thousand dollars, and then there are nights you could leave owing money to the club. A lot of people don’t talk about that. So, I just let people know what it is. I think I inspire people because it’s like ,“Damn, if she did it…” Yo, I got crooked teeth, I’m hairy and it’s like, “If she could do it, I definitely could do it.”
Follow your own way, your own path, do your own thing. Follow your dreams. Don’t look at somebody and be like, “Oh my god, I gotta do what she did.” Do what you do and make your own way.