Cardi B Called Out Racism in Music and Fashion

Christopher Luu
·2 min read

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Cardi B's résumé doesn't just include no. 1 hits like "WAP." She's also been the face of big-time brands and labels like Steve Madden, Balenciaga, Amazon, Pepsi, Fashion Nova, and Reebok. But in a talk with Mariah Carey for Interview, Cardi says that she knows that she's getting paid less than white artists — and it's insulting to her. On top of that, she told Carey that her fans do buy things that she promotes, which makes it even worse.

Cardi explained that white peers in both music and fashion have gotten bigger paychecks than her for similar partnerships.

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"I don't know if I would use the word 'racism' because everything is so technical right now. I have felt prejudice," Cardi said. "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 shit. 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."

Cardi went on to say that hip-hop is one of the biggest influences in the world and fashion designers aren't recognizing that reach and influence. Black artists, she says, don't get the attention from designers even though they're out there making sure big brands are in the headlines.

"Hip-hop is a big influence [on the industry]," she added. "And yet, Black artists have the hardest time getting pulls from designers and the hardest time getting seats at their fashion shows, and barely get endorsed by big fashion brands that we literally make trend."

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Carey agreed, noting that Cardi has broader appeal than many of the artists she didn't mention by name and that everyone, brands included, should take notice.

"I'm just asking because I feel the same way. And I have it a different way because people don't know how to categorize me sometimes, and that sucks," she said. "But I think people should listen to the words you say, because you're saying it from firsthand experience. You've gotten less than other artists who are not artists of color, and yet your influence has been way broader. So let's fix that."