Cardi B Says Fans 'Want You to Be Mother Teresa': Female Artists Have It 'Mad Hard'
"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," Cardi B told Billboard
Cardi B is opening up about the pressures of life in the spotlight.
In her Billboard Woman of the Year cover story, the rapper, 28, defended her status as a role model after detractors — including conservative pundits Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens — criticized her for the sexually charged lyrics in her hit "WAP."
"Am I a role model? I know I’m a role model because I know there’s a lot of women like me," Cardi said. "At the end of the day, I know I’m a bitch 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," she continued. "I’m a very sexual person. I love sex."
Cardi B explained that she also liked to rap about sex in her music.
"I admire my husband’s penis. I love p—y, and I love my body, and I want to be able to express that," she said. "I’m just a naughty girl, and I’m not hurting nobody because I love my p—y and want to rap about it."
Cardi (née Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) then went on to address the double standards female artists still face in the industry.
"I don’t want to be like, 'Oh, female artists, we have it hard,'" she said. "But we do f—ing be having it mad hard! I could be bumping to one bitch’s music, and the next day, people are telling you, 'Oh, this girl is better than Cardi. She’s gonna end Cardi.' I hate that y’all do that. Why do you want me to argue and not like this girl?"
"N—s be out here doing the most, being disrespectful, [but] just the other day, I was getting chewed up because I said the R-word," she added. "Like, how you gonna cancel me for calling myself r—ded? They want you to be Mother Teresa, they want you to put out music, and they want you to look a certain way. It’s like, 'Y’all gotta chill — I’m just a regular-degular bitch, man.'"
Cardi also recalled the criticism she faced for not putting out music for nearly a year.
"Throughout those 10 months, I kept seeing thousands and thousands of comments and tweets like, 'She’s over. She’s a flop. She’s done with.' People tried to erase me," she said. "And I’m like, 'Damn, that’s not fair. I’m taking a little break!' If I put out bad music, I’m gonna get called a flop, and if I take my time, people are saying I’m over. That’s not fair."
Before she dropped "WAP" featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi said she "just hoped it would debut in the top 20." It ended up far exceeding her expectations, becoming a multiplatinum success, spending four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"It did better than I even thought it would," Cardi said. "I was crying and s—. When I heard Megan’s verse, I’m like, 'Oh, s—. 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."
"When female artists are rising, you don’t have to put one down because the others are rising," she added.
RELATED VIDEO: Cardi B Gifts Megan Thee Stallion a Custom Hermès Birkin to Celebrate 'WAP' Hitting No. 1
When fans celebrated the election of Joe Biden by singing "WAP" outside the White House last month, Cardi said it was a "big victory" for her and Megan.
"I’m so used to listening to raunchy female rap music since I was a little girl — Trina, Khia, Lil’ Kim, Jacki-O, Foxy [Brown]," she said. "'WAP,' to me, was just a regular raunchy female rap song, but it caused so much controversy ... So it was just a victory for me seeing people celebrating Biden’s win with my and Megan’s song. Power of the p—y, ya heard?!"
When asked if she's opening herself up on her forthcoming second album as she does on social media, Cardi said, "Kinda sorta."
"When it comes to me writing or putting ideas of my personal life [in the music], I get really shy," she said. "When I perform songs like 'Be Careful' or 'Ring,' I usually close my eyes because I get really shy about showing that lovey-dovey side. Even to my engineer, I start giggling. I be like, 'Oh, my God, I can’t. This is so embarrassing.'"
"When it was time to get more creative with my love side or my R&B side, I was like, 'This makes me feel weird and uncomfortable,'" she later added. "I’m getting better at it. 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.'"
The only song Cardi said ever made her cry was one written while she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old daughter Kulture Kiari, whom she shares with husband Offset.
"It was about my daughter," she said. "I just felt like, 'Can you guys stop looking at me recording this? Matter of fact, stop!' I really wanted to put the song out, but I was pregnant and had a really bad cold, so I didn’t sound right. My nose was just too stuffy. Putting it out now [would just be] weird because I’m not pregnant anymore."
While Cardi said 2020 has been "a bad year" for work with the coronavirus pandemic, she's been relishing in the quality time with her family.
"I feel like I haven’t laughed like I have in 2020," she said. "My daughter is so funny, and I’m with her every single day. That’s what brings me happiness ... I’m not gonna front, I’ve been really happy. I gained weight — that’s how happy I am."