If you’re into music and pop culture, there’s about a 150% chance you’ve heard of Cardi B. Even if you’re not a fan of rap music, I’m sure you’ve heard “Bodak Yellow” at least once or heard her signature “Okkkurrrt” on the Internet somewhere.
While some love her music, others hate it and claim it’s “everything that’s wrong with rap culture today.” Regardless if you like her flow, her style, or her bars–there’s no denying Cardi B has made an empire for herself overnight. Since “Bodak Yellow” dropped last summer, the rapper and songwriter has solidified spot after spot on the charts with her songs and features. Her album that dropped this week, “Invasion of Privacy,” has already gone gold.
All in all, Cardi B has shown the world that she’s here to play and she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. At the end of the day, if you really look at who Cardi B is as a person, she’s inspirational. For women, she’s a pretty good influence and role model–hear me out.
Most people will knock what I’m saying because Cardi B started off as a stripper and society has normalized the narrative that strippers are to be looked down upon and treated as “less than” than others. In all honesty, that’s ignorant.
Regardless if you respect her come up, the fact of the matter is she’s been nothing but honest about her come up. She’s never hidden the fact that she stripped for a living, she’s never lied about the work she’s had done.
When it comes to her relationship, Cardi B doesn’t hide from the gossip, the rumors, or the scandal. Now engaged to producer and rapper Offset, Cardi B was open when cheating scandals came out. She claimed she knows what went down and that’s between her and Offset–she chose to stay with him and publicly said she’s aware of the issues, but wants to do what she wants to do. She shows her fans that owning your life is a way to be strong, not hiding is a way to prove to the world you’re a powerhouse.
From the moment Cardi B appeared on the scene, people fell in love with her because she’s been blunt, honest, and real. Not once has she lied about her life, not once has she lied about her plastic surgeries, her past, her dark times. If you listen to any interview with Cardi B, she’ll tell you that stripping gave her financial independence and the ability to leave an abusive relationship. She told 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club,” that she got into stripping in order to free herself from an abusive relationship she was in. She told Vibe:
“There was two pit bulls in that house, and I had asthma. There was bedbugs, too. On top of that, I felt like my ex-boyfriend was cheating on me, but it was like even if he was cheating on me, I still can’t leave because—where was I gonna go?”
In fact, it’s a reason Cardi B has made such an influence on the world right now. She’s inspired others to be real with who they are, too. Many other celebrities and artists have felt empowered enough to come forward and discuss their come-up, being honest about where they came from–shining light on important issues that aren’t discussed often enough–like domestic violence or the humanization of sex workers. In a recent interview, Cardi B says:
“Yea all women deserve respect, and that’s the thing like, it’s like ‘oh well how do you deserve respect when you’re not respecting yourself.. you’re showing your body this and that’ cause I’m showing my body doesn’t mean that I’m gonna get touched when I don’t want to get touched doesn’t mean that um like some women, a lot of women think, like for example, when I was 19 and I used to be in the train stations and I used to see these girls in the red bottoms, in the magazines, it’s like wow ‘I wonder how much money they making, they’re probably making like $10,000 just to be on the cover of this magazine.’
A lot of young women think that certain jobs are a big opportunity for them and this sucks when you trying to get that big opportunity and it’s just people in the way like ‘You want to be in this magazine and they pull out their penis,’ some girls are very young and naive. When I was 19 I wasn’t sleeping with people, I wasn’t going none of that… and there were so many people like ‘You wanna be on this cover or you wanna be in this music video?’ and it be directors, photographers, middle mans, and it’s just so crazy and if some girl would say something, like in the urban world, they would say it doesn’t matter cause ‘you’re a hoe’ or ‘you don’t respect yourself cause you’re half naked and this and that’ It doesn’t matter cause why do you have to harass me to do what I don’t want to do for something they feel is the opportunity.”
Right on the heels of the #MeToo movement, this is the kind of voice society needs. Just because many people will feel as though she uses too much profanity or foul language in her music doesn’t make the message any less real. Cardi B is constantly spitting bars to women about how they should make their own, not to rely on a man for their success and push themselves to reach their dreams.
She’s also proven to women everywhere that you can have it all. The rapper announced last week on “Saturday Night Live” that the pregnancy rumors were indeed true and she’s expecting her first child with her fiancé, Offset. And, many people came down on her. Recently releasing an album and going on tour with a baby? Cardi B doesn’t give a f*ck. In fact, she’s said in every single interview–she wants to show women they can have their cake and eat it too, they can be successful and powerful and still be mothers, wives, sisters, and friends.
Cardi B holds the type of values I think every woman should live by. She stands for female empowerment–working hard for yours, not relying on others for your success and finances. She talks to young girls in impoverished neighborhoods–much like the one she grew up in–to inspire them to reach for more, to dream big and achieve it. She’s honest, she doesn’t lie, she doesn’t hide. She chases her heart, she lives for herself and has a great time along the way. If you think that’s not the kind of woman we all secretly aspire to be–you’re lying.