Cardi B defends old video about drugging and robbing men ‘to survive’

Cardi B arrives at Staples Center for the 61st Grammy Awards in February.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Pop culture, must you slay all the heroes? Add Cardi B to the list of celebrities we love but have troubling incidents in their past.

The red-hot rapper is dealing with a resurfaced revelation that she drugged and robbed men she took to hotels back when she was a stripper.

She made the claim three years ago in an Instagram Live session, but someone dug up the recording a few days ago.


“I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to … me?,’” she hollers in the video, per Hip Hop Ratchet’s Instagram account. “‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go back to this hotel.’ and I drugged [men] up, and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do.”

Cardi B was trying to explain that she deserved and earned her success and “nothing was… handed to me.”

READ MORE: Cardi B is the first solo woman to win a Grammy for rap album »

The video earned her a load of criticism on social media, including the R.Kelly-invoking hashtag #SurvivingCardiB. Bill Cosby’s prison-worthy behavior was mentioned. Many people called out a double standard, saying she’d be in court or prison for those actions if she were a man.

At first Cardi bounced off Twitter for a short break, but then she went on the offense Tuesday, explaining what she had said back then, what she meant and what she could do now about it.

“I talked about things I had to do in my past right or wrong that I felt I needed to do to make a living,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I never claim to be perfect or some from a perfect world wit a perfect past I always speak my truth I always own my [past].”

Cardi B performs at the Grammys in February.
(Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

The culture she comes from — hip-hop — allows people to talk honestly about where they came from and the bad things they had to do, Cardi said, but she noted she has refrained from featuring those parts of her past in her music.

“There are rappers that glorify murder violence drugs an robbing. Crimes they felt they had to do to survive. I never even put those things in my music because I’m not proud of it it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it,” said the Grammy-winning star, who has never been shy about her stripper past.

“The men I spoke about in my live were men that I dated that I was involve with men that were conscious and willing and aware,” she added, confusingly.

“Whether or not they were poor choices at the time I did what I had to do to survive,” she added.

“All I can do now is be a better me for myself my family and my future,” she said in the caption of the post, where, of course, the debate continued in the comments.


Cardi B gave birth last July to a baby girl, Kulture, whose father is the performer’s off-and-on husband, rapper Offset. She’s going to be writing a book about her life and has been cast in the Jennifer Lopez movie “Hustlers,” about a group of former strip club workers who “band together to turn the tables” on their rich Wall Street clients.

@theCDZ on Twitter and Instagram