Mariah Carey chatted with Cardi B in the latest issue of Interview magazine, in which the two artists talk staying safe and busy during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, with an important detour into some details about Cardi’s upcoming sophomore album.
But first, Cardi admitted that just talking to five-time Grammy winner Carey had her “freaking out.”
Before long, though, the two women were talking about their pandemic routines, childhood insecurities, haircare regimes and new music. Cardi told Carey that her day usually begins with her sorting through all the ideas in her head and calling her team to share them, hitting social media to find out what’s going on, and then waking up for real at noon. Unfortunately, Cardi’s daughter sleeps until 3 p.m., so the rapper has only a few hours to “work, work, work.”
Cardi also ran down the laborious routine of keeping her team safe, which involves everyone getting tested three or four times a week and coordinating hair, makeup and fashion from a distance. But even with her high-flying lifestyle, when Mariah asked Cardi if she considers herself down to earth, the “WAP” rapper said, “I can vibe with anybody. I know hood chicks, I know college girls. I can relate to any type of vibe.”
After describing how writing her memoir — The Meaning of Mariah Carey — helped Carey work through her “interesting, dysfunctional childhood,” things got real when Mariah asked Cardi if she felt beautiful as a little girl, or, like Carey, like an outsider. Bronx-bred Cardi said growing up Dominican/Trinidadian in New York made her realize that a lot of Dominicans have a very specific look that would be a challenge for her. “They have soft, pretty, curly hair. Growing up, guys would ask me weird questions like, ‘If you’re Dominican, why is your hair so nappy?'” said Cardi, who noted that people used to make fun of her “crunchy” dyed hair, which made her feel weird.
“I was also really skinny when I was younger, and in the Bronx, it’s about being thick and having an a–, so young boys would be like, ‘Look at your flat a–. You ain’t got no t–ties,'” she said. “And it would make me feel so ugly and undeveloped.
Carey could relate about the hair thing, asking Cardi if she feels vindicated now that she’s a “real-life princess” and has her own glam squad.
“I feel so vindicated. 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,” Cardi said. She added that she also got butt implants at 20 when she started dancing in urban strip clubs, which made her feel “super confident.”
The rapper also told Carey that she now makes her own hair mask for her natural hair, which makes her feel better. “What people were saying about me isn’t true,” Cardi said. “My hair was not bad because it was nappy. My hair was bad because I didn’t know how to take care of it.”
Carey also got Cardi to open up a bit about the sessions for her follow-up to her smash full-length studio debut, 2018’s Invasion of Privacy. “I feel like I’m missing some songs. Everybody’s rushing me to put it out, but I don’t know if it’s the right time,” Cardi explained, with Carey counseling the rapper to take her time and make the album the best she can. Noting that “Be Careful” is one of her favorite songs, Mariah wondered if there’s another track like that on Cardi’s second effort.
“I do have a song like ‘Be Careful,’ but I think it’s more personal,” Cardi revealed. “People were saying, ‘You need to be softer. You need to talk more about yourself.’ And I was telling them that it’s really hard for me to do love records and express myself like that because I never do that. I don’t talk about love and s–t.”
The rapper did admit to the “crazy expectations” people have for her next effort, which makes her feel like it’s a competition and “almost like they want to see you fail. I hate the feeling when I don’t do something really good. So I want my s–t to be good because my last album did so well, and if this one doesn’t do well, I’m going to feel really sad.”
Cardi also talked about listening to Barney the Dinosaur and Disney music as a kid, but then having her mind blown when she discovered Missy Elliott and raunch rapper Trina. And, in case you were wondering, yes, she “totally” reads your comments on her social posts. “Not like before. Two years ago, Mariah, let me tell you, every single time somebody said some crazy s–t, I would flame their a– right back. I’m more calm now,” Cardi said.
And, despite her rocket rise to fame, Cardi admitted that she still gets super nervous when meeting fellow celebrities. “A lot of celebrities invite me to places, but I’m really shy,” Cardi said. “We’re doing this over the phone, but if it was in person, I wouldn’t be able to look you in the eyes. That’s how nervous I get around celebrities. And sometimes my head starts talking, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I look stupid, I feel stupid, I’m dumb.'”