by: Ben Dandridge-Lemco, The Fader
Over the last two years, Cardi B's rise from New York City stripper to Instagram celebrity to bonafide rapper has been a testament to her business savvy and hard work. Now, with two mixtapes under her belt, the Bronx native has announced that she's signed a deal with Atlantic Records in an interview for the cover of The FADER's Summer Music Issue.
"People really don't understand like, Atlantic signed me right? People don't understand that they signed me because I put out a free mixtape and it sold so much and it was free," Cardi told Rawiya Kameir, reporting for The FADER. "Like, the numbers don't lie. It's right there."
Cardi explained that, though she initially planned on remaining independent, the Atlantic deal with too good to pass up. "I had a lot of deals on the table but like they gave me the best offer, the one that I don't have to owe them much, and they just gave me a lot of money so I took it," she said. "They gave the right number, so I chose them. It was significantly more than other [deals]. I heard a lot of good things and they was really eager to work with me so I was just like, if they want to give this money then it's because they're really gonna work hard for me."
The deal is also a meaningful co-sign and a chance to fast-track opportunities that might have taken longer to materialize. As Cardi explained: "I felt like it's certain things that are harder when you're an independent artist, like get on the radio, go to certain shows, be considered serious... A lot of people that don't like me used to be like, "Oh, nobody will ever take her serious, nobody will ever sign her." And it's like, if only y'all knew. People are dying to sign me, I just...if the numbers ain't right, I won't settle for less. I feel like I deserve a lot because I know what I could bring to the table. I could sell anything. I could sell ass in a can."
Cardi B's new video for "Bodak Yellow" is incredibly luxurious. Set in Dubai, Cardi is draped in jewels and soft fabrics as she delivers her verses. Cardi released the track on June 19.