You can hardly go anywhere these days without hearing the lyrics, “I don’t dance now, I make money moves”. Hate it or love it, Cardi B is what’s hot in these streets. She’s riding a high of one hit song and two previously banging mixed tapes. I first heard of Cardi B on Love and Hip Hop, like most people. She was the loud mouth, said how she felt and dared someone to cross her woman. I thought we have seen this before, so what will she bring to the table? Turns out, she was a superstar, all by herself. Quick tempered, ready to get it popping, and all about her shmoney, she gave us a new vocabulary and more. “Who is Cardi B?” I wondered, and I slowly found out the answer. I wanted to know more about her, so I started checking out her interviews when I could. She is a woman who has lots of hustle drive, compassion, witty and HUMBLE. She is flying at this time, and I am so happy for her. While learning more about her I found five key things we all can learn from Ms. Belcalis Almanzar.
- If you don’t have a platform, create one. While watching a The Breakfast Club interview, I learned that Cardi had a major following on Instagram before she stepped in front of the cameras of Love & Hip Hop: New York. Her buzz grabbed the attention of the Love & Hip Hop producers. The rest is history. There is an old saying, “use what you got to get what you want.’ This can be translated many ways, but the way I want you to focus on it is, use what is available to you. Use what is in your “hands”. Social media was her resource. What do you do naturally? Social Media may not be your thing, however there is something you can use to create your platform aka brand.
- When given a platform, capitalize on it. Once Cardi, became a part of Love & Hip Hop, it is my opinion she decided to make it work for her. She made her musical debuts as a guest then later released her own full length mixtapes. She also, got her teeth fixed. She was destined to not only be a reality TV personality, but she was going to go down every avenue presented to her. She has made guest appearances on TV shows, and it has been hinted she will be looking for movie roles. Once you have the attention of those of influence, use it to your advantage. Capitalize on experiences and network, network, network. Expand what it is that you have started and move forward with it.
- Know when to get out. After the first season that she appeared on Love & Hip Hop: New York, it was rumored that she would be leaving soon. In an interview she confirmed that she would be leaving the show and it had nothing to do with the producers. She wanted to do other things. In my opinion, the show was a launch pad for her national exposure. She did what she needed to do on the show and knew her end date. When expanding to a new platform that may be given to you, know when to move on. Give yourself a timeline, set goals and know what it is you want from this “platform”.
- Know your worth. In an interview, Cardi stated there were a lot of labels that wanted her were not coming with the correct amount of money. She finally signed with Atlantic and stated in her interview in The Fader, that they came with the right number, and she went with it. It had been said that she wanted to stay independent, I guess the right number can make you change your mind. There is nothing wrong with that, just know what you are willing to take. She knew what number would make her sign with a label. She knew her worth. She knew what she brought to the table and understood they needed her more than she needed them. It is up to you make yourself so good that people can’t not notice you. Make them NEED you more than you want them. Be valuable!
- Be you! No matter what you think of Cardi, she is herself. She is consistent. I think she is the alter ego of many women that can’t show that side of themselves in public. Being able to relate to Bodak Yellow makes us warm blooded women know how to let our hair down. We may not have danced, but we worked hard to get where we are. No matter what industry we are in. We are making money moves, writing checks, and taking names. Be true to you. Know what works in the industry that you are working in or aspire to work in. You may have to tailor your personality to fit the job, but don’t stop being you. Know when to put it on and take it off. It is called layers. Cardi’s personality works for her industry. She owns it. Do you?
People have so much to say about Cardi B and who she is. When I first ran this topic by a friend, he asked, “huh?” I told him she is a business woman that is doing her thing. I see her as a strong woman who had a plan and went for it. I am her, I used the things that are at my finger tips and expanded my brand from there. I share the same personality as well, and when Bodak Yellow comes on, I can’t help but to dance. Ay, “I don’t dance now, I make money moves!”
-In the Wind