Premium

Stripper, robber, Hustler: why Cardi B's unapologetic life is wilder than any movie

Cardi B as Diamond in Hustlers
Cardi B as Diamond in Hustlers Credit: Barbara Nitke

Before Cardi B was a history-making, chart-topping, Grammy-winning rapper, she was a stripper. It’s a fact that is entrenched in her late-capitalist legend.

The issues that dominate her lyrics: her relentless hustle, street smarts and fixation on money – both as a necessity and as a luxury – are reflected by her stripping years.

And it’s stripping that has been at the heart of her most damaging controversies, where the crowd-pleasing, dubious strand of third-wave feminism of her former career merged with indisputable criminality.

All of which has made her one of pop culture’s most contradictory and fascinating figures, a woman who is both politically socialist (based, at least, on her public...

To continue reading this article

Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles

  • Unlimited access to Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Save 25% with an annual subscription

Just £75 per year

 

Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Only subscribers have unlimited access to Premium articles.
Register for free to continue reading this article
Or unlock all Premium articles.
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week