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Cardi B changes tune on community service, calls it ‘best thing,’ ‘spiritual journey’

A smiling woman in a metallic gown and head cover holds her arms out to her sides behind a microphone.
Cardi B says that community service “has been the best thing that has happened to me.”
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)
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Rap star Cardi B, who readily complained about the early hours involved in her community-service sentence, now believes it’s the “best thing that has happened” to her.

Following a conditional discharge before her case went to trial last September, the Grammy-winning rapper was ordered to complete 15 days of community service related to a 2018 brawl she was involved in at a strip club in Queens, N.Y.

“Community service has been the best thing that has happened to me,” the “I Like It” and “WAP” rapper tweeted Saturday. “Almost like a spiritual journey because sometimes I leave these centers in tears. Those people that we leave behind they just need somebody to talk and a lil push and YOU might be able to change their life forever.”

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According to New York’s PIX11, a judge granted the New York-bred artist an extension to complete her community service, and she now has until Wednesday to do so. Otherwise, she could face a 15-day jail sentence, the Associated Press reported. It’s unclear how many hours she has completed thus far.

The 30-year-old superstar told her Instagram followers that she had been working with veterans and ex-soldiers. On Friday, the former stripper and “Love & Hip Hop” alum was the special guest at a New York Police Dept. “Girl Talk” event, part of an NYPD program aimed at building trust and fostering mentorship between police officers and girls.

The NYPD Police Academy tweeted that the rapper “shared her rags to riches story” and encouraged the young women to pursue their dreams. She spoke onstage and also took selfies with the girls during the event.

“I feel like there’s so many people that make y’all probably feel like, ‘This is what’s cool, this is what’s going on, this is what it takes to be lit, this is what it takes to be fire,’” the recording artist said. “Sometimes that’s a little bit of peer pressure ... on a girl. Don’t fall into that. You know what I’m saying? Like, be great. Be you. You’re amazing. You’re dope yourself.”

The “Bodak Yellow” emcee, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, began posting selfies and writing tweets last week chronicling her time served, repeatedly telling her 28.8 million followers to “obey the law” and “don’t commit crimes.”

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“Community service ….I have to do a lot of hours today and I’m very sleepy ……..YOU DO THE CRIME YOU DO THE TIME!!!!!” she tweeted last Thursday. The next day, she wrote, “My brains are burning from waking up early ,community service then studio….but I did the crime ‘I only have myself to blame.’”

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Cardi B initially rejected a plea deal in the case in 2019, then pleaded not guilty to several charges stemming from the August 2018 fight with two sisters at the Angels Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant. She was indicted weeks later on 14 charges — including two felony counts of attempted assault — then pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges last September.

The multiplatinum artist was sentenced to 15 days of community service and ordered to pay court fees, and a three-year full order of protection was given to the two victims involved in the altercation. (One of Cardi’s co-defendants, Jeffrey Bush, was ordered to serve six months in jail for his part in the melee.)

“Part of growing up and maturing is being accountable for your actions,” the mother of two said at the time. “As a mother, it’s a practice that I am trying to instill in my children, but the example starts with me. I’ve made some bad decisions in my past that I am not afraid to face and own up to.

“These moments don’t define me and they are not reflective of who I am now,” she added. “I’m looking forward to moving past this situation with my family and friends and getting back to the things I love the most — the music and my fans.”

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