Cardi B doesn’t want to just be known as a platinum-selling rapper, but as a cultural force who can shape political thought for an entire generation.
The stripper-turned-Grammy award-winning rapper’s social media feeds — each of which have tens of millions of followers and likes — are filled with photos of her performances as well as videos of her speaking passionately about politics. In one recent video, Cardi B (who was born in New York City as Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) made it clear to her followers that politics was something she cared deeply about long before her meteoric rise to success as a rapper. She also called on the U.S. to pass policies like single payer healthcare and tuition-free college education, even if it meant her taxes would increase.
“Every other two days, I’m getting 100,000 followers, my engagement is crazy, my music is selling, my shows are selling, I’m good,” Cardi B said. “I’ve been doing this shit for a hot minute. I’ve been preaching about politics since I had crooked teeth.”
“I pay millions of dollars in taxes in this country, so yes, I’m trying to make a change,” Cardi B said. “There’s countries like Sweden that, they have free healthcare, free college education, so people don’t have to worry about going bankrupt if they want to educate themselves or become something, or if they ever get sick.”
Patriotic Taxpayer demands Medicare for all pic.twitter.com/QlYcIHGmVl
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) July 29, 2019
Cardi — whose hit single Bodak Yellow took her to stardom in 2017 — recently posted a video to her Instagram account of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), whom she has consistently praised since his 2016 presidential campaign, speak fondly of the rapper and her political views in an interview with late night host Jimmy Kimmel. In the post’s description, she called on her followers to get more familiar with the Democratic candidates running for president.
“[B]elieve it or not guys I was in advance placement in high school for Government and history it was a subject that I learn fast cause I naturally love it! I even took more classes in college but I dropped out cause money came first and I was also a chasing dirty ass men,” she wrote. “[A]nyways I want us this year to get more familiar with or candidates… Take a little bit of our time and open our eyes on what’s going on in this country and how we can change it.”
More recently, Cardi called on “bloggers,” “YouTubers,” and “influencers” to rise to the call of political action, and inform young generations of Americans about important issues.
“We have the power to influence our youth to get educated when it comes to our Democratic candidates,” she said. “[Trump] puts things on Twitter that distract us from all the bullshit that he actually be doing. So… why don’t we post every single day about the positive things these Democratic candidates want to do for our country?”
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Even prior to the 2020 Democratic primary, Almánzar has been using her platform to draw attention to political matters. Earlier this year, she condemned President Trump for the prolonged government shutdown, in which hundreds of thousands of federal workers went without paychecks while Trump unsuccessfully tried to get Congress to fund his border wall.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.