Back in 2015, Cardi B bulldozed her way into the mainstream market with her appearance on the sixth season of “Love and Hip Hop: New York,” bringing her larger-than-life social media personality to the small screen.
Initially loved locally as a stripper and nationally as a social media star, the self-proclaimed “regular degular” girl from the Bronx used the platform to push her music, as she attempted to break into the music scene. But, when most refused to listen, Cardi bet on herself with new releases, countless features and two mixtapes, all before she inked a deal with Atlantic Records in 2017.
Four months later, the New York-bred rap star released her commercial debut single, “Bodak Yellow,” which climbed the charts for months, breaking longstanding music records, as it became certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Now, just one year later, Cardi is a Grammy nominated rapper, whose name is etched in hip-hop history, a television personality, a social media personality, and a new mom. But, according to the superstar, this is only the beginning.
In an interview with Baller Alert, Cardi opened up about her success, the industry, life after “Love and Hip Hop,” and offered advice to those coming up in the game.
When it comes to “Love and Hip Hop,” although Cardi doesn’t believe she created a lane for artists to be successful, she did make it a point to remain focused, which ultimately separated herself from the rest of the cast.
“A lot of people, when I was doing ‘Love and Hip Hop’, they wanted me to announce that – ‘You gotta tell the world that you quit stripping’ and I said, ‘I don’t want to say I quit stripping until I know that I’m going to do good on ‘Love and Hip Hop’ because there’s a lot of bitches that went on ‘Love and Hip Hop’ that used to be strippers and they was on some, ‘I don’t strip no more, I don’t strip no more’ and guess what, they went back to stripping,” she said. “So, it’s like you gotta be careful what you say.”
Now, upon her success of ‘Love and Hip Hop’ and her historical break in music, Cardi finally feels it paid off. But, she still believes there’s a long way to go, as she continues to raise the bar for herself.
“I feel like everything has paid off, but then I still feel like I need more,” she said. “Back in the day I wanted to prove a point to people now I gotta prove a point to myself.”
Despite her grind though, the superstar had to take a few months off to deliver her first born baby, Kulture Kiari Cephus, with husband, Offset. Though she initially thought the move would negatively affect her career, she realized – only after having her baby – that the stigma has changed.
“Before I had the baby, I really thought that like my career was going to be over, I thought my label was going to shelve me, I thought people was not going to find me attractive anymore. I thought the couple of months that I was off that people was just gonna forget me,” she said, as she differentiated herself from other super-established celebs that have taken time off to be a mom, like Beyonce. “I was in the height of my career, and I’m new.”
But, fortunately for Cardi, she delivered her baby and immediately got back to work, with new singles, new features and an entire fashion collaboration that sold out in minutes, creating a new lane for new moms breaking into the business.
“I think women are not going to be as afraid anymore to get pregnant while their career is on the rise, cause I was really afraid,” Cardi said, “I was very afraid. I feel like I had to take that first dive.”
As Cardi continued, she opened up about her experience in the industry and offered a few words of advice for up and coming rappers, which is simple, “Be nice to people” and mind your business.
“Don’t get to close to people,” she said. “I always make sure I be careful. It’s not even with artists, it’s just with anybody, especially when it comes to money. Money changes people a lot.”
“I feel like as a upcoming female rapper, I be seeing a couple of them throwing me shots, and I just feel like-don’t do that,” she said. “Always keep yourself positive because you don’t know if I’m looking at you and i’m liking your music and I’m thinking about doing a song with you. I don’t want people to kiss my ass. But don’t be funny throwing me shots.”
In the end, Cardi shared what’s next for her in her already successful career, and the short answer is: Everything!