Cardi B chats with Mariah Carey about racism, prejudice, plastic surgery & more

I love everything about Cardi B’s Interview Magazine cover and profile. The photoshoot is great, and they really wanted Cardi to glam it up, and I love that for her. Then the interview was conducted by none other than Mariah Carey! I never knew I wanted to read a conversation between Mariah and Cardi before now. They’re lovely together – Mariah surprised me here because she took Cardi seriously from the word go. Mariah asks substantive questions and got Cardi to open up on self-image, plastic surgery, stripping and tons of other stuff. You can read the full piece here (I would recommend it). Some highlights:

Pandemic life: “During the pandemic, the average day is me waking up with a lot of ideas in my head, so I’m always calling my team, trying to make whatever I have in my head happen, or I’m wondering about a business venture so I call my lawyer. And sometimes I go on Twitter, I go to blogs, I see what’s going on in the world. I try to stay off it most of the time, because sometimes it’s such a bad vibe. I usually wake up around noon and my daughter wakes up at 3:00 p.m., so I really have no time to just work, work, work, work.

Insecurity & plastic surgery: “Even when I was 18 and became a dancer, I had enough money to afford to buy boobs, so every insecurity that I felt about my breasts was gone. When I was 20, I went to the urban strip club, and in the urban strip clubs, you had to have a big butt. So I felt insecure about that. It took me back to high school. So I got my ass done. And then I felt super confident. When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to take care of my hair. So now I make my own hair mask and take care of my natural hair, and it makes me feel better, like what people were saying about me isn’t true. My hair was not bad because it was nappy. My hair was bad because I didn’t know how to take care of it.

Whether she cares what her parents say: “I’m grown now. When I told my mom I was a stripper that really bothered her for a minute. But now when she hears me saying grown sh-t, I don’t think she gives a f–k anymore. I think she didn’t want me to grow up so fast, because the kids around my neighborhood grew up fast.

Her relationship with her fans: “Last year, because I hadn’t put out music for a long time, social media was saying, “She’s over. I told you she was only going to last this and that amount. She’s so mediocre.” So I used to ask some of my fans, “You think it’s really over for me?” They gave me encouragement, like, “I don’t think you really understand who you are.” I get a lot of hate on social media, so if I feel the pressure, I know my fans feel the pressure of constantly defending my ass. I feel a close connection to them because my team doesn’t always know what’s going on, my husband doesn’t really understand social media, but my fans understand. That’s their world. I totally [read the comments]. Not like before. Two years ago, Mariah, let me tell you, every single time somebody said some crazy sh-t, I would flame their ass right back. I’m more calm now.

Whether she’s felt racism in the industry: “I don’t know if I would use the word “racism,” because everything is so technical right now. I have felt prejudice. I have been involved in endorsement deals, and then I found out that certain white people got more money for their deals from the same company. I do my research. I know how much money I made that company. My fans buy my sh-t. So it’s like,“When you’re not paying me what you’re paying these other people, why is that?” It’s kind of insulting.

[From Interview]

Cardi and Mariah talk a lot about their childhoods. Mariah talks about feeling like an outsider in both the white community and Black community. Cardi made it sound like she didn’t have the exact same experience – her experience was that she wasn’t “Dominican enough” or “Trinidadian enough” for those communities, she made it sound more like prejudice and shame within her own communities. It was interesting, and you could tell that both women were really into their larger conversation. Mariah also asked Cardi to do a bra line with her. Cardi didn’t seem interested, lol. Also: I love that Cardi fully admits to checking out blogs for industry/celebrity gossip AND that she reads her social media comments.

Photos courtesy of Interview Magazine.

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9 Responses to “Cardi B chats with Mariah Carey about racism, prejudice, plastic surgery & more”

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  1. Barfly says:

    Both of them are badass. They’re beautiful, empowered, talented women and that makes alot of people feel threatened. More power to both.

  2. Silent Star says:

    Cardi *is* different on the scene. I’m not her demographic (rural white lady in my 50s), but I love her! I heard about her the first time when New York’s HOT 97 shows were interviewing her early in her career, and I was smitten! She has a realness that other music artists don’t have.
    People in my demographic are quick to judge based on background, fashion, voice, choice of words, education and all kinds of things. But even though her music is not my favorite style, she has so many qualities that I admire so much. She’s so driven, fearless, and she knows herself. If she doesn’t know something that is important to know, she will learn it. She represents so many things that I am not — and I think that’s why I love her so much. It’s fun to live vicariously through her.

  3. Dierski says:

    Loved this interview combo! Made my morning to hear from these awesome ladies.

  4. Alexandria says:

    Mariah Carey the next Oprah? I think I’ll watch that 😛

  5. Ersatz says:

    “Wake up at noon so I really have no time to just work” ? I don’t get the hype with this woman.
    Also, I get confidence from surgeries trope, hence perpetuating a model of unattainable ideal body for other women (participating in giving women complexes). Also you’re super confident but need to ask fans to know if you’re over… She comes off as very insecure and very superficial.

    • Joni says:

      I feel like she might be confident about her talent, yet insecure about her looks, and trying to make the best of both.

      I also think she is truly feminist in doing her part in normalising women’s pleasure and sex work – or adjacent, ie. stripping – but hasn’t truly made peace with or realised how misogyny has affected her own self image, and how she’s enabling the unrealistic body expectations we have for women.

      For me it’s actually refreshing to see someone grapple with her past and self worth and -image so publicly, warts and all.

      She has dualities and dimensions, kind of like a real human person :)

  6. Watson says:

    I love Cardi B. Her political insights and authenticity are actually wildly funny and intelligent. She is also correct in doing her research in regards to her market value, and comparing what other artists are receiving in payments. Smart lady!

  7. dlc says:

    Love Cardi B! Mariah is fascinating.

  8. emu says:

    That’s awesome I love that Mariah got to vibe with her. She always gives off the impression that she’s kind of closed off to other female performers – but maybe that’s because she doesn’t like them for whatever reason or maybe it’s all just optics. But this is fun!
    And Cardi of course is great and I love that she is so honest about everything AND that she does her research about getting paid!!