Being a celebrity comes with all kinds of perks and benefits, but life in the limelight is also saddled with the burden of being subject to the ever changing public opinion. No matter how much money and clout you acquire as an A-lister, fame can’t protect you from falling victim to cancel culture — just ask Cardi B.
The world was first introduced to Cardi B on the now-defunct app Vine (“A hoe never gets cold!") but got to know her better on the sixth season of VH1’s Love and Hip Hop, where we watched the aspiring rapper chase her ultimate dream of being a rapper. After years of producing low-key mixtapes that only banged in her local Bronx neighbourhood, Cardi’s viral single “Bodak Yellow” rocketed her into the mainstream. The song was everywhere, and so was she, creating opportunities for the former dancer to become a household name. Cardi continued making music, featuring on notable rap records like "MotorSport" and "No Limit" before dropping her debut studio album. Invasion of Privacy only solidified Cardi's star power; the record-breaking project went triple platinum and even won a Grammy.
Life is good for Cardi, but trolls are determined to take her down a peg or two. It seems like calls for Cardi's cancelation happen every. People criticised her because of her complicated marriage to Migos rapper Offset and for her beef with Nicki Minaj (even though feuds are a staple of rap culture that men are never called out for). Her very valid political commentary and possible political aspirations were laughed off by people who don't take her seriously. And don't even get the masses started on Cardi's ownership of her sexuality. Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled.
Now that she's been famous for some time, Cardi reveals that cancel culture has been taking a toll on her as of late. She feels that no matter what she does, people will always have something negative to say about her even when she's taken a step back from her normal shenanigans.
"It’s like I have a target on my back, but it’s not because of my music," the rapper told ELLE in a new interview. "I haven’t done music for eight months, and people still try to attack me."
"I feel like people are attacking me because they want me to feel the pressure of bullying," Cardi continued. "They want me to give up and say ‘Oh, I quit music’ or ‘I’ll delete my Instagram, delete my Twitter.'"
To be fair, not all of the critical commentary about her is unwarranted; Cardi has made some significant missteps, like her use of anti-Asian slurs and her involvement in an alleged planned attack on two strip club employees. However, the rapper has, for the most part, owned her mistakes and learned from them, educating herself so that she can do things the right way.
Lucky for Cardi fans, the trolls will never get what they want — she isn't going anywhere any time soon. If anything, she's planning on going ten times harder, and that resolve will be evident in her upcoming second album. Tentatively called Tiger Woods, the project will do what she hopes all of the music in her discography does: inspire genuine confidence in women.
"My music is always going to make a woman feel like a bad bitch," Cardi explained to ELLE. "When you make a woman feel like she’s the baddest bitch in the room, to me, that’s female empowerment."
“Ain’t no way that I’m going to quit," Cardi asserted. "I don’t give a fuck if the whole world picks on me. I don’t give a fuck if people make up lies about me every single day. I want to make it really clear that nobody can ever make me quit.”