Cardi B may not have much time progressive labels like “feminist” or “activist,” but she’s definitely an outspoken advocate for social equity whether she intends to be or not. She proves as much in her interview with I-D, bluntly stating her strongest-held conviction about the power of hip-hop culture and people of color and bringing plenty of receipts to back it up.
“Of course the success of people like me scares people, that’s why they belittle us,” she continues. “If you’re a little scrawny man raised in a trailer in Alabama somewhere, of course you’re scared right now. That’s why they own guns! They’re scared of the intelligence of the minority. They scared of that shit. We have broken these rules a lot of times. In America, I always look at the charts. Hip-hop is always there. We are controlling the music industry. We control the fashion world,” she says.
“I don’t give a fuck if the fashion comes from a runway or if a Caucasian woman is walking it, once a colored person wears something, that’s when everybody wants to wear it. We always influence. When you see the Olympics, who always wins? Coloured folks. We win everything. We are a big influence and people want to take that shit away. People like Donald Trump, they’re always going to make us feel like we’re less. But it’s okay because a bitch like me knows the truth. It don’t matter if the government and the Republicans try to make us feel like we’re not, ’cause we is. I know the truth.” What is the truth? “That we run the shit! We influence. We run everything.”
Cardi’s plainspoken, impassioned speech here sums up what a decade worth of internet thinkpieces and social media movements have been trying to convey, sans the academic jargon or hashtagged catchphrases. Leave it to the rapper who said she’d take any rapper’s beat and body it better than they can to find the simplest way to say what many have been thinking for a very long time: Hip-hop rules the world now, and there’s no going back.