Cardi B’s 2017 is one of the most exciting Cinderella stories in modern hip-hop history: a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, shout outs from icons like Janet Jackson and Beyonce, landing the cover of major magazines like Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, and The Fader.
But the pressure is on Cardi to follow up on the runaway success of “Bodak Yellow,” with another smash single. Cardi discussed how high expectations have made her gunshy about sharing new work, saying,”Every single time I think, ‘I got all the 10 songs,’ I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m buggin’,” to The Breakfast Club earlier this year. “These ain’t it’.”
The story of Cardi’s ascent and her fear of a sophomore slump prompted an encouraging response from an unlikely source, J. Cole, who complimented Cardi on her success and offered some advice. “Cardi b I seen your breakfast club interview, loved it,” Cole wrote on Twitter. “Don’t put all that pressure on your album. You already won. Just drop & repeat.”
The sage advice touched Cardi, leading her to respond:
Internet-based mutual admiration aside, the two hadn’t met until Saturday night, when they were both backstage at KRRL 92.3’s “Real Show” at the Forum in Inglewood, California, where Cole’s advice continued.
The YouTube clip below captures some of the exchange, with Cole imploring Cardi to not get in the studio with the sole focus of trying to create another No. 1 “Jay-Z’s first number one was, what, three years ago or something? The New York record,” Cole says, referring to Jay-Z’s first No. 1 single as a solo artist, “Empire State of Mind” (which was actually released eight years ago, in 2009). “And he’s been poppin’ since ’96.” Well, that’s definitely one way of looking at it. Watch their exchange below.