Billboard’s 2021 Icon: Cardi B Embraces Justice and Embraces Her Empowerment

Despite her departure from Quality Control, Cardi B has continued to thrive as an entrepreneur in 2020. One of her notable achievements was securing a deal with OnlyFans in August. The undisclosed sum she received allowed her to share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the “WAP” video shoot and other content with her fans for a subscription fee of $4.99. This move further showcases Cardi B’s belief in valuing her worth and not freely giving away everything, reflecting her guiding principle throughout her career.

Cardi B

Just a little less than a fortnight prior to that famous Instagram video, Cardi B finds herself in Los Angeles, engaging in a Skype conversation with me. Her unique humor and sharp cleverness are on full display as she playfully teases me about my dodgy internet connection (“Ha! You’re frozen,” she cackles before warmly welcoming me back when my service is restored). During our extensive discussion, she once again demonstrates why, in a year unlike any other, she reigned as an exceptional woman.

“I want to demonstrate to people that it’s possible to do positive things while staying true to yourself,” she asserts. “I enjoy seeking justice. I thrive in my work and creative pursuits. But I also enjoy embracing my sensual side.”

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Iris Van Herpen gown, Wing Weft gloves, Keeyahri footwear. AB+DM

How did Cardi B experience Election Day at her home? During a period when Joe Biden was falling behind Donald Trump, she uploaded a video of herself smoking three cigarettes simultaneously.

Initially, I was having a good time with my child, but then I started checking Instagram and became increasingly nervous. Before the election, I had a strong feeling that Biden had it in the bag. However, on Election Day, I noticed that many states were predominantly red. It’s surprising when you don’t hear the people around you say, “Oh, I don’t support Trump.” There are other individuals who don’t share our perspective. There are millions of people who are not on the same page as us, who fail to comprehend what he did wrong and why we’re so anxious. I thought, “Oh, damn. I’m starting to get nervous now.”

You know, we often criticize this country, even though we were born here. But at the end of the day, we need to realize that we serve as a significant example to other nations. I saw France celebrating Biden’s victory. I witnessed Haiti celebrating Biden’s win as well. When my parents immigrated to this country, they believed it was the land of dreams and opportunities. People all over the world think the same way, even if we don’t see it because we reside here. It’s crucial to set a positive example, promote unity, and have a representative who truly represents us.

Although Cardi B parted ways with her management at Quality Control earlier this year, she didn’t slow down as an entrepreneur in 2020. In August, she secured a deal with OnlyFans, the increasingly popular subscription service platform, for an undisclosed sum. On OnlyFans, she shares exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the “WAP” music video shoot and other content, all available to fans for $4.99. As an artist who rose to fame through social media, this move exemplifies Cardi B’s guiding principle: knowing her worth and not giving everything away for free.

Less than two weeks before that Instagram video, I connected with Cardi B via Skype while she was in Los Angeles. Throughout our conversation, her signature humor and wit shone through. She playfully teased me about my poor connection and warmly welcomed me back when I regained service. In our wide-ranging discussion, she once again demonstrated why, in a year like no other, she stands out as an exceptional woman.

“I want to show people that it’s possible to do positive things while staying true to oneself,” she remarks. “I believe in justice. I enjoy working and being creative. But I also enjoy expressing my sexuality.”

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How did Election Day go for Cardi B and her family? During the election, Cardi B initially felt confident in Joe Biden’s victory, but as the results started coming in, she grew increasingly anxious. She noticed that many states were leaning towards Donald Trump, which surprised her as she didn’t hear many people around her openly supporting him. This realization made her nervous and jittery.

Cardi B acknowledges that she and her family often criticize the United States, despite being citizens themselves. However, she believes that they are also a representation of the country to the rest of the world. Seeing countries like France and Haiti celebrate Biden’s win reminded her of the importance of setting a good example and having a leader who represents them appropriately.

When the news of Biden’s projected win was finally announced, Cardi B felt a sense of victory. As a fan of raunchy female rap music since she was young, she was accustomed to controversial songs like “WAP.” However, she was surprised by the backlash it received from Republicans, including prominent figures like Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Tomi Lahren. So seeing fans celebrate Biden’s win with her and Megan’s song felt like a triumph. Cardi B humorously emphasized the power and significance of female empowerment.

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