Safe to say Cardi B straight slayed in 2017. She turned 25, got engaged to Offset (with a $550,000 rock, I might add), won 5 BET awards, played at Barclay’s twice, and “Bodak Yellow” is up for two Grammys (Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance) after a three-week stay at the top of Billboard Hot 100. Y’all jealous yet?
But as a recent interview with Billboard proves, Cardi isn’t fazed by all her success. Realness is part of her brand ("Bodak Yellow" celebrates her former life as a stripper, after all.) And as for all the advice she doles out on social media, Cardi seems to practice what she preaches—staying humble but hungry. Cardi tells Billboard topping the Hot 100 was “like winning the lottery,” adding, “And it’s not like a congratulation everybody has had. Like, ‘Oh, you had a baby,’ or, ‘you graduated.’ It’s No. 1 in Billboard.”
There’s no doubt Cardi's attitude toward her success has, in part, made her so successful. Atlantic President of Black Music Michael Kyser describes Cardi as the “people’s champion," noting she's "six months removed from the Bronx projects.” Atlantic chairman/COO Julie Greenwald notes, “When I met her, she was the same person you saw on social media and TV. There was no sugarcoating or ‘I’m taking a major meeting, let me become someone else.’ She walked in as Cardi B, completely in control of her own destiny, a definitive boss. As a woman who is also a boss of a big company, I was so impressed by her.”
While success hasn’t turned her into a different person, it has forced her to live her life in a different way. She’s postponed her longtime plan to have a baby at 25 so she can work toward furthering her career. In the meantime, she'll have a chance to adjust to her newfound fame, both the ups and the downs. She tells Billboard, “When women come up to me like, ‘I am a freaking senator,’ or, ‘I’m a doctor.’ It’s like, ‘Damn, y’all like me? I look up to y’all!' It’s not that people want to be like me, but some want to say the things I say and can’t, because they’re afraid. I say it for them.” But it’s not all compliments and accolades; there are “a lot of fake people, a lot of people throwing you hate, trying to discredit your work, a lot of men always talking shit, the drama, the pain, the tears, the sweat, the stress. It’s annoying. I suck it up. I cry sometimes. I get very upset.”
As the first solo female rapper to top the Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill in 1998, Cardi has a number of accomplishments this year to keep all that haterade in check. Keep doing you, girl. It’s definitely working.