Musical superstars Mariah Carey and Cardi B discussed alleged racial discrimination and pay disparity during a sit-down interview released Tuesday.
Carey suggested the record and fashion industries are “inherently racist,” while Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, said she’s felt prejudice and has been paid less money than other “white people” for certain endorsements.
Carey and Cardi have estimated net worths of $320 million and $24 million, respectively.
“Do you feel that the record industry or the fashion industry, from your perspective, is inherently racist?” Carey asked Cardi, during a conservation published in Interview magazine.
“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘racism,’ because everything is so technical right now,” she answered. “I have felt prejudice.”
“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,” she claimed. “I do my research. I know how much money I made that company.”
“My fans buy my s***. 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,” the “WAP” singer said.
“And then when it comes to fashion, hip-hop is a big influence. 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,” she added.
“I’m just asking because I feel the same way,” Carey said.
“And I have it a different way because people don’t know how to categorize me sometimes, and that sucks,” she continued. “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.”
During the same sit-down, Cardi admitted that she used to feel ashamed of being a stripper, and worried what her parents might think if they found out.
“When I first entered the strip club, I was really shy,” she told Carey. “I felt really uncomfortable. I felt very ashamed. There were times when I was crying, like, ‘Oh my gosh, if my mom or my dad found out, they’d be so humiliated.'”
“But I needed the f***ing money,” Cardi said. “I was living with my boyfriend at the time, but he wasn’t doing s***. I used to smoke weed back then, so I felt like weed was necessary. I wanted money for weed and to move out. I just wanted enough money to rent a room. That’s how desperate I was to get the f*** out of the situation I was in.”
Later in the interview, Cardi said her mother is now okay with her past stripping and vulgarity: “When I told my mom I was a stripper that really bothered her for a minute. But now when she hears me saying grown s***, I don’t think she gives a f*** anymore.”
Cardi once admitted in an online video from 2016 that she used to drug and rob men whom she would lure to a hotel room with the promise of sex. She argued it was a necessary practice to survive when she worked as a stripper.
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