Cardi B Lays Down Some Truth About Feminism, Hip Hop & Donald Trump With i-D Magazine

She’s known for being controversial, abrasive, and in-your-face with her opinions…and that’s exactly why we love Cardi B. We may think we live in a world where equality has been well-established for women, but when it comes to outspoken women and artists, especially women of color, it’s clear the “madonna-whore” binary still exists. Society still wants to push women into such narrow boxes and doesn’t like us to talk out of turn or ignore our “place”.

The reality is, if gender equality is every truly going to be reached, we need MORE women like Cardi B who speak their mind, push the boundaries, and aren’t afraid to piss a few people off, even if they do make mistakes every now and then. In a recent interview with i-D magazine, the rapper, whose single ‘Bodak Yellow’ was the breakout hip hop anthem of 2017, spoke about feminism, politics, Donald Trump, and how culture is undeniably influenced by black artists.

The Grammy-nominated artist, who performed ‘Finesse’ with Bruno Mars at the 2018 awards ceremony, is the first solo female artist since Lauryn Hill to get a number one hit unaccompanied by another artist, and she occupied the number one spot for 3 weeks, knocking off Taylor Swift in the process. Not bad for a woman who came from the ‘hood and broke into the mainstream through a reality TV show (‘Love & Hip Hop: New York’), after working as a stripper. She’s been hated-on by men and women alike, but challengin the status quo is her signature style.

“Cardi B might not appear to be a particularly potent figure of protest, but her very existence is a f**k you to white male power…Her success…is not only empowering to other young people of color, it’s threatening to those who are not. She — they are — disrupting things and disrupting things is really, really powerful,” writes i-D’s Hattie Collins.

You get the sense Cardi loves to take on the status quo, especially in our current political climate where race and gender divisions have become even more pronounced.

“Of course the success of people like me scares people, that’s why they belittle us. 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” she said.

She also says people of color are heightening the fashion world, whether it is recognized overtly or not (despite diversity still being at an all-time low in the fashion industry), as well as dominating in other areas such as athletics, and black people gaining success is seen as a threat to those in power.

“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, cos we is. I know the truth. That we run the shit! We influence. We run everything,” she said.

Cardi is a feminist whose passion comes from a place of experiencing injustice and poverty growing up, and knows how much harder women, especially women of color, have to work to get the kind of success often seen among men.

“Being a feminist is such a great thing and some people feel like someone like me can’t be as great as that. But then some people are smart but they don’t have no common sense,” she says, alluding to the way the media and the public has often derided and brushed her off because of the way she talks or acts. She has some thoughts about those who like to police and judge women based on the way hey present themselves.

“They think feminism is great and only a woman that can speak properly, that has a degree, who is a boss, a businessperson… they think only Michelle Obama can be a feminist. But being a feminist is real simple; it’s that a woman can do things the same as a man. I’m equal to a n****. Anything a man can do, I can do. I can finesse, I can hustle. We have the same freedom. I was top of the charts. I’m a woman and I did that. I do feel equal to a man,” she said.

Growing up in a neighborhood where survival was an instinct became her life school, and taught her everything she knows. Being part of a gang was integral to her survival and part of her story. She keeps it real and doesn’t brush over the parts that make some people feel uncomfortable, and that’s what makes her relatable. She knows her strong personality is what got people watching her in the mainstream and she has used it to her advantage.

“There’s only one me and I leave my signature everywhere I go,” she insists. Whether you love or hate her, Cardi B is someone who is breaking down preconceived ideas of what a woman, a female artist, a woman of color and a rapper is “supposed” to look and sound like. Her path has been unconventional and that is necessary.

“When I got to number one. I didn’t even know that no woman has done that since 1998. I didn’t know how important it was for the community or the minorities,” she tells i-D.

Here’s to the continued reign of Cardi B in 2018. Watch her performance with Bruno Mars from the Grammys below:

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