Cardi B's rise to the top has been nothing short of a "binderella" tale. The "Get Up 10" rapper went from stripping to Instagram fame to repeatedly occupying the top spot on music charts, and she's remained true to herself through it all.
With a bangin' debut album and a baby on the way, things are on the up and up for the Bronx-bred musician. During a recent interview with GQ, she discussed her new album, "Invasion of Privacy," as well as a few subjects she didn't address on the album such as gang affiliation, politics and adjusting to fame.
Fans have likely noticed her tendency to substitute a C for a B, even occasionally referring to herself as "Bardi" in her music. She's also partial to the color red, and when asked about her affiliation to the Bloods or the infamous gang's subset, the Brims, Cardi gave a truthful answer.
She said in the interview published Monday, "Here's the thing. I never really wanted to talk about that, because I always wanted a music deal. I always want to keep my endorsements. When I was 16 years old, I used to hang out with a lot of," Cardi takes a long pause. "Bloods. I used to pop off with my homies. And they'd say, 'Yo, you really get it poppin.' You should come home. You should turn Blood.' And I did. Yes, I did. And something that—it's not like, oh, you leave. You don't leave. Stripping" -- which Cardi began at 19 -- "changed my life. When I was a stripper, I didn't give a f**k about gangs, because I was so focused on making money."
"One thing I could say," she continued, "you could ask any gang member: Being in a gang don't make you not one dollar. And I know for a fact every gang member, he asking himself, 'Why did I turn this?' Sometimes it's almost like a fraternity, a sorority. Sometimes it's like that. And sometimes I see people that's in the same gang kill each other. So sometimes there is no loyalty. Sometimes you gotta do certain things to get higher, to get higher and higher. You're doing all of that and you not making money off of it. That's why I don't talk about it much. Because I wouldn't want a young person, a young girl, to think it's okay to join it. You could talk to somebody that is considered Big Homie and they will tell you: 'Don't join a gang.' The person that I'm under, she would tell you, 'Don't join a gang.' It's not about violence. It's just like—it doesn't make your money. It doesn't make your money. I rep it, because I been repping it for such a long time."
In addition to speaking on her gang involvement, the mommy-to-be makes it clear mama ain't raise no fool. She provided her interviewer with a brief history of Teddy Roosevelt and addressed politics, the current presidency and America's current standing on the world stage.
"When it came to the school shooting, that's when I was like, 'Okay, this n***a really think that everything is a joke'," Cardi complained. "Have you ever shot a gun before? It's very scary and loud. It's traumatizing to shoot somebody. On top of that, what makes you think that a kid wouldn't come behind a teacher, shoot her from the back, then go in her desk and take the gun? And now you got two guns. It's like"—Cardi scrunches up her face like she is struggling to find order in the scribbles of a true moron—" 'Don't you calculate?' "
"Me," Cardi B said, "I'm always watching the news. I'm always looking at it on my phone. I hate when you talk about something that's going on in the community, people think, because you're famous, you doing it for clout. But you concerned about it because you are a citizen of America; you are a citizen of the world. If I want to get cool points, I could take a picture with a thong and my ass and y'all gonna give me the same amount of likes. I'm gonna trend even bigger."
Though we were introduced to Cardi over four years ago thanks to social media, her rise to fame has been fairly quick. The "Bodak Yellow" rapper admits that although she loves making money moves, it's not always easy.
"I feel like I'm not in control of my life," she said. "I would have to call so many people. I would have to call the label, my management, my publicist. It's like a partnership. I'm the artist, but I don't feel like I have a higher position than anybody that's working for me. If I don't want to work tomorrow, I cannot just stop working, because then, how's other people gonna feed their family? It is a lot of pressure."
The pressure isn't likely to let up soon as Cardi continues stacking her opportunities. She's scheduled to co-host "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" Monday night.