Cardi B is an example of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” facet of the American dream that many conservatives preach. Through hard work and dedication, Cardi went from side-hustling as a stripper to becoming one of the biggest celebrities of our time. But despite her self-made status, her sexually-liberated persona is apparently enough to piss people off.
From Fox News hosts to right-wing commentators, conservatives love attempting to use Cardi to push their agenda and so-called culture war, and responding to their critics has recently become the rapper’s part-time job. Regardless of countless attempts to disparage her, Cardi never lets her name be slandered without putting up a fight.
Though it was released nearly a year ago, Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” continues to dominate conservative conversations about morality, femininity, and for some reason, Dr. Seuss. But Cardi’s lasting debate with right-wingers started well before the release of her infamously raunchy video. Here’s a timeline of conservatives’ many feuds with the rapper.
January 24, 2018 — Ben Shapiro drags “Bodak Yellow”
One of the first of many incidents of Cardi becoming the source of conservative media attention happened in early 2018 after her diamond-certified track “Bodak Yellow” took off. The song was actually released the year prior, but because many women used the song’s lyrics in protest posters at the Women’s March, the track was finally put on Ben Shapiro’s radar. He analyzed the lyrics line-by-line in a cringe-worthy video and attempted to use her own lyrics against her.
Biggest compliment I can pay Bodak Yellow is that the lyrics still smack even when read by Ben Shapiro pic.twitter.com/ejGckLzsNg
— Astead (@AsteadWesley) January 26, 2018
January 20, 2019 — Tomi Lahren sparks a Twitter fight with Cardi
Fox News contributor and conservative political pot-stirrer Tomi Lahren decided to spark a Twitter debate with Cardi after the rapper made anti-Trump comments. Tagging Cardi in a tweet, Lahren sarcastically quipped that the rapper was the latest “genius political mind” to endorse the Democrats, but Cardi didn’t let the slight go unanswered. Cardi responded by telling Lahren she was “blinded by racism,” and that Trump’s actions were actually “destroying” the country she claims to love.
You’re so blinded with racism that you don’t even realize the decisions the president you root for is destroying the country you claim to love so much .You are a perfect example on no matter how educated or smart you think you are you still a SHEEP! https://t.co/khRpoOt16B
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 20, 2019
January 22, 2019 — Cardi B defends City Girls amid conservative backlash
Cardi isn’t the only female rapper to face criticism over a raunchy video. When City Girls released their viral “Twerk” video, it was instantly criticized by pearl-clutchers who couldn’t stand the fact that some women feel empowered by showing off their bodies. After a conservative questioned what the song does to “empower” women, Cardi chimed in and came to City Girls’ defense.
It says to women that I can wear and not wear what ever I want. do w.e I want and that NO still means NO. So Stephanie chime in..If I twerk and be half naked does that mean I deserve to get raped and molested ? I want to know what a conservative woman like you thinks 🤔 https://t.co/8UBQQzO6jK
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 22, 2019
June 18, 2020 — Conservatives pull Cardi into a conversation about Aunt Jemima
When the Aunt Jemima brand was discontinued to to it’s proliferation of problematic racial archetypes, Cardi was somehow pulled into the conversation. One critic posed the question, “Aunt Jemima is degrading to Black women but Cardi B isn’t?” In response, Cardi stood up for herself while also speaking truth to the controversy in a since-deleted tweet. “Why you conservative Republicans always use my name to get viral tweets?” she wrote. “‘Cause how me & Aunt Jemima correlate? Aunt Jemima is degrading because it’s a symbol that implies black women are only good to be massa servant or cookin’ nanny — THATS WHY!”
July 31, 2019 — Candace Owens challenges Cardi to a debate
Conservative contributor Candace Owens has recently become one of the most vocal critics of Cardi. After the rapper showed her public support of Bernie Sanders, Owens offered her $250,000 to join her in a political debate. But Cardi had the perfect response. “Why don’t you use that 250k for a charity that will be more helpful,” she asked.
Why don’t you use that 250k for a charity that will be more helpful.I like Bernie because since the 60s he’s been fighting for https://t.co/HJ7iDjllir looks like progression is really his passion.I still want to ask other candidates questions that my followers would like to know. https://t.co/yucoeBJdd3
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) July 30, 2019
August 7, 2020 — Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion release the “WAP” video
After Cardi and Megan dropped their internet-breaking “WAP” visual, several conservative politicians thought it best to offer their less-than-nuanced takes about the video. One conservative congressional candidate from California, who said he “accidentally” heard the song, tweeted that Cardi and Megan are “what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure.” He also noted that it wanted to make him “pour holy water” on his ears.
Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure. Their new "song" The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!
— James P. Bradley For US Senate CA (@JamesBradleyCA) August 7, 2020
August 10, 2020 — Ben Shapiro reads the “WAP” lyrics
In the days following release of the “WAP” video, Ben Shapiro decided it was best to, like with her song “Bodak Yellow,” unpack “WAP” line-by-line. He read each lyric, infamously referring to p*ssy as “the p-word,” and calling the song “really really really vulgar.”
ladies please contain your excitement pic.twitter.com/e8Lr5Np8yD
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 10, 2020
August 18, 2020 — “WAP” was used to promote a Republican boat party
After days of hearing right-wing criticisms of “WAP,” Cardi decided to do some trolling of her own. She stumbled across a video of a bunch of teenagers attending a Trump-supporting boat party which co-opted her track “WAP.” But Cardi expressed her disapproval after catching wind of the video. “I’m callin the fbi on this festivity,” she wrote. “They are not quarantining”
August 19, 2020 — Tucker Carlson loses it over “WAP”
Since nearly every other conservative thinker was offended by Cardi’s “WAP” video, Tucker Carlson didn’t want to be left out. Carlson absolutely lost it in a segment on his show he dedicated to the track, where he moaned about the salacious lyrics and tried to argue that it’s hurting children. “Ask yourself, above all, and ask it more than once — What is this doing to our kids?” he said. “The people pushing it are clearly trying to hurt your children. Why is nobody pushing back?”
Tucker Carlson rips into the song "WAP" by Cardi B:
"That's garbage. It's aimed at young American girls… People are getting rich pushing that crap on the country and they should be ashamed of themselves." pic.twitter.com/e4QQnnA7mz
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 19, 2020
September 7, 2020 — Candace Owens calls Cardi “illiterate”
When Cardi was able to score an interview with the then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, conservatives weren’t happy. Candace Owens, in particular, used the interview to promote her own political views. She along with calling Cardi “illiterate,” Owens said “her music and platform contributes to the disintegration of black culture and values.” But Cardi continued to assert that her no. 1 single actually proves she’s able to use her massive following to encourage young people to vote.
Yes you are right I have the number 1 song & I have a huge platform and I can make millions go vote to get the MAN THAT USED YOU .I don’t want to argue with you Candace I really don’t have the time .I honestly just feel sorry for you. https://t.co/haACwKRN13
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 6, 2020
December 2, 2020 — Cardi takes credit for Candice Owens’ popularity
Candace Owens’ many tiffs with Cardi led the rapper to conclude that their feuds only give Owens more of a following. Explaining why she decided to join OnlyFans, Cardi said: “There are certain things that I want to get more personal on, and I don’t want to get on Instagram Live and talk about it because blogs are gonna chop it up. There’s certain people I want to curse out, but I don’t want to give them clout. For example, when me and Candace Owens got into an argument, I gave that b*tch 2 million followers.”
Jan 4, 2021 — Cardi defends shielding Kulture’s ears from “WAP”
While on an Instagram Live, Cardi was blasting her track “WAP” until she noticed that her young daughter Kulture had snuck into the room. Cardi frantically turned the song off due to its explicit nature, which apparently rubbed people the wrong way. One person asked, “So ya daughter cant listen to it but everybody else’s daughter can?” Cardi quipped back that she makes music for adults — not kids. “Parents are responsible on what their children listen too or see,” she wrote. “I’m a very sexual person but not around my child just like every other parent should be.”
Ya needs to stop with this already ! I’m not jojosiwa ! I don’t make music for kids I make music for adults.Parents are responsible on what their children listen too or see.I I’m a very sexual person but not around my child just like every other parent should be. https://t.co/LRH3APdp9A
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 5, 2021
March 16, 2021 — Tucker Carlson names Cardi B’s Grammys performance an attack on “American values”
If the “WAP” visual didn’t give conservatives enough to complain about, Cardi and Megan gave an equally-raunchy 2021 Grammys performance of the song. To discuss the issue, Carlson tapped infamous Cardi hater Candace Owens to break down the set. During their segment, Carlson calls the performance “sinister” and expresses his concern for children — all while repeatedly airing clips of the performance. “This is starting to me to seem like it’s not even left or right, it’s not a political issue,” he said. “This seems like an attack on American values, American traditions, and you’re actually actively trying to make children aspire to things that are grotesque.”
March 15, 2021 — Cardi was brought into a conversation about the Dr. Seuss book ban
Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to pull six books from publishing this year due to racist imagery. Though the decision had nothing to do with rap music, Cardi was pulled into the conversation by a conservative who somehow thought that kids are being taught “WAP” in schools. Just like the Aunt Jemima controversy the year prior, Cardi was made to defend herself while also educating people on why the books were offensive in the first place. “I get it wap might be a lil vulgar but stop comparing a sensual song to books that has RACIST content,” she wrote back.
April 22, 2021 — A conservative legislator brought up Cardi on the floor of the House of Representatives
Another day, another conservative partially blaming Cardi for “the moral decline of America.” Using the rapper’s Grammys performance as an example, Wisconsin Representative Glenn Grothman complained about the FCC’s regulations. “I received complaints in my office, and rightfully so, about Cardi B and the Grammys,” he said on the floor of the House of Representatives. “They wonder why we are paying the FCC if they feel that this should be in living rooms across the nation.”
Cardi, of course, put things into perspective: “I think we all been on the edge this week since we seen police brutality back to back including watching one of the biggest case in history go down DUE to police brutality but wait ! This is wat state representative decide to talk about.”
This gets me so mad ya don’t even know! I think we all been on the edge this week since we seen police brutality back to back including watching one of the biggest case in history go down DUE to police brutality but wait ! This is wat state representative decide to talk about 🤔 https://t.co/k2ZBn9gONA
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) April 22, 2021
Cardi B is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.