Cardi B is known for her distinct accent and New York street slang, but that’s not how the rapper wants to sound in her music.
In a new GQ profile, the hitmaker admits that growing up in the Bronx with a Dominican father who only speaks to her in Spanish and a Trinidadian mother has resulted in “broken” English.
“I don’t got the best English in the world, so sometimes I really got to ask somebody, ‘Does this make sense? Would this make sense?’ Because I will probably use the words… that they don’t even supposed to go there,” she explained.
Despite that being part of Cardi B’s appeal, it’s bothersome to her while laying down tracks.
“Do you want to know something? That’s my biggest problem, that takes me a long time in the booth,” the rapper shared. “I be trying to pronounce words properly and without an accent. Each and every song from my album, I most likely did it over five times, because I’m really insecure about my accent when it comes to music. In person, I don’t care.”
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The 25-year-old provides a few examples, like her pronunciation of “I’m turning you on” coming out as “I’m turning you awhn” and “off” becomes “awhff.”
“It’s a really bad pet peeve of mine,” she said. “I can’t help it.”
Cardi B got her first taste of fame appearing on VH1’s reality show Love & Hip Hop: New York before signing with Atlantic Records in the fall of 2016. Things skyrocketed after releasing her single “Bodak Yellow” in June 2017, and Cardi B soon became the first rapper with three Billboard Hot 100 entries in the Top 10 at the same time.
But the rapper admits that sudden stardom makes her “feel like I’m not in control of my life.”
“I would have to call so many people,” she said of taking a day off. “I would have to call the label, my management, my publicist. It’s like a partnership. I’m the artist, but I don’t feel like I have a higher position than anybody that’s working for me. If I don’t want to work tomorrow, I cannot just stop working, because then, how’s other people gonna feed their family? It is a lot of pressure.”
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Mom-to-be Cardi B is also expecting her first child with fellow hip-hop artist Offset, whom she’s engaged to despite an alleged cheating scandal — and criticism towards her for taking him back.
“For a long time, we was in love with each other but we didn’t really trust in each other,” she explained to GQ. “It was like a competition of who’s gonna hit each other up first. I don’t want to hit him up first; he will hit me up first. People used to put things in my head: ‘He gonna leave you. He be f—ing with mad bitches.’ People used to put things in his head: ‘Cardi, she’s a dog. Don’t trust her.’
She added, “We never really trusted each other because I always feel like he could get any girl he wants — what makes me think he’s gonna want me? I think he felt the same way. N— want to be with me, and bitches wanna be with him.”
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Despite their careers keeping them apart — Cardi B revealed the longest stretch they’ve spent together is six days — she feels they’re a good match.
“He’s so attending in my business. I don’t really know the music business too well, so I always feel like people taking advantage of me,” she said, revealing they’re planning a fall wedding. “He’s always making sure that I’m well taken care of or that I learn something.”