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Cardi B gets interviewed by Mariah Carey, realizes she's a "real ass bitch" too

Celebrity-on-celebrity interviews tend to be soft, uninteresting fare — which makes Cardi B and Mariah Carey's phone call for Interview Magazine even more of a triumph for avoiding that fate. The pair sat down to ramp up interest ahead of Cardi’s unannounced second album, but waded into some genuinely compelling, personal territory for this sort of thing.

Carey lobs the questions in early, asking Cardi what her average pandemic day looks like. Aside from the parts about calling her lawyer with business ideas and taking care of her daughter, coincidentally, it sounds an awful lot like mine? “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,” she said.

Cardi also dishes on the new album, which she’s feeling trepidation toward rushing out after a pair of blockbuster singles. If anything, it seems to confirm fears that high-profile artists might slow roll their looming releases until touring and in-person events can resume more thoroughly:

“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. When I do interviews, I like to be in people’s faces. I hate Zoom meetings. They’re just so weird. I like to do listening parties. You can’t even tour. That shit’s wack as fuck.”

But the heart of their interview unpacks their dual upbringings: in lower-income households, in communities that didn’t grasp their identities, and the ensuing struggles with properly taking care of their hair throughout adolescence. Carey asks Cardi if her family is understanding of her most profane hits, like “WAP,” which leads to this striking exchange:

CARDI B: 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 shit, I don’t think she gives a fuck anymore. I think she didn’t want me to grow up so fast, because the kids around my neighborhood grew up fast. You need to understand, Mariah, the kids around me were sucking dick at 11 years old.
CAREY: I actually do understand. I’m not saying I did that, but you’d be surprised. I’ve been surrounded by a lot of crazy. We’ll leave it at that.

Cardi has always been insightful and candid about her previous career as a stripper, and the interview offers a clear outline of her ascent, from just thinking she’d have made it with a $20,000 salary, to raking in $2,000–$5,000 per night once she became Instagram famous. She also digs into her caution for making the leap into music, and how her manager convinced Cardi it wouldn’t be a step back. “Not only did I want to make money, but I wanted to be on the radio. In the strip club, I didn’t want people to just clap for me. I wanted them to sing my shit,” she said.

By the end, Cardi and Carey have settled on plans to start a bra line together (“Why has no one made a great bra yet?”) and collaborate on a “record that touches souls.” Both seem like guaranteed hits to me, since the two are operating on such similar wavelengths. The interview is worth reading in its entirety.