Cardi B has been drawing a lot of attention thanks to her smash hit “WAP” with Megan Thee Stallion. The sexually explicit song that has been dividing listeners has made it clear that the rapper’s cultural relevance and fame are secure.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason Cardi B has been in the headlines lately. Amongst all the critical acclaim for her new song, Cardi B has also been getting pushback on a racially insensitive comment she made.
Now the star wants fans to know that she was unaware the word she said was a slur.
Cardi B had a rough start to fame
These days, Cardi B is known for her lavish lifestyle alongside her partner and fellow rapper Offset and their daughter, Kulture. Cardi B’s path to fame was not an easy one.
Born in 1992 in Washington Heights in New York City, Cardi B worked a series of odd jobs as a teenager. When she got fired from her position at a grocery store, the manager suggested that she give stripping a try, and the teen decided to take the advice. She’s been very open about the career decision, and she even got butt implants to help her stand out from the competition.
In 2015, Cardi B was cast on Love & Hip Hop: New York, and her star quickly began to rise. When she signed a record deal and released “Bodak Yellow” in 2017, it was clear that the rapper was on the fast track to super stardom. Since then, her witty persona, interest in politics, and catchy songs have all been catalysts for increasing success.
Cardi B made a racially insensitive comment
Cardi B is very active on social media, and she often shares glimpses of her personal life with fans as a way to stay connected. In July, the rapper shared a picture of her daughter (since deleted) aged up to show what she might look like in the future. Cardi B was positive about the image, saying “I love it.”
According to BuzzFeed, the problematic statement came in the comments to this photo. One fan took to the comment section to note how much the older version of Kulture looked like Cardi B’s sister Hennessy Carolina.
In response, Cardi B said: “I think cause Hennessy got chinky eyes like Offset and so [does] KK [Kulture].”
Fans immediately called foul on the use of the racial slur “chink,” which has long been used against Asian groups. It was particularly troubling for many to see this word in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when racist attacks against Asians were increasing because of the virus’s origin in China.
Cardi B claims she did not know the word’s history
Cardi B — who has been an outspoken advocate for Black Lives Matter causes — took down the post and seemed genuinely confused about the outrage.
In a recent interview with Elle, the rapper addressed the controversy head-on: “Never in my life, my 27 years, I never even knew that was a racial slur. I was describing my husband’s and my sister’s eyes, and my daughter’s eyes…. I don’t even know how to describe their eyes anymore because that’s how I used to describe their eyes. I don’t even know the word. That they’re almond shaped? But it’s like, I never knew that. And for people to be like, ‘She’s using a racial slur. She’s disgusting.’ And it’s like, ‘Bro, I didn’t even know that was a racial slur…. I didn’t say it…with no bad ill intention.'”
As the magazine article explains, Cardi B has often taken public missteps, but she makes real effort to change. She goes through “a very public unlearning process, which seems to be in line with her evolution from her impoverished background to international superstardom.”