Fresh Off That 'WAP,' Cardi and Megan Dive Into Political Discourse

Illustration for article titled Fresh Off That WAP, Cardi and Megan Dive Into Political Discourse
Screenshot: Steven Klein Studio (Elle Magazine, Colin Dodgson (W Magazine

Fun fact: “WAP” may also be an acronym for “Women Active in Politics.” Both Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are proving as passionate about our current political cycle as they are for the joys of enthusiastically consensual sex—which is as it should be since the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Of course, with Cardi, this comes as little surprise given the rap-tress has long touted her interest in American history and civics. This time last year, she was actively stumping for Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries, even appearing with the democratic socialist in several pre-COVID chats about his vision for America. Of course, much has changed in the months since, and in tandem with starring in her first cover shoot for Elle magazine (which we covered last week), Cardi has done what most (rational) voters have—chosen to throw her vote and her cultural cachet behind the one candidate left in the race who isn’t Donald J. Trump.

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Sporting a burgundy bob with brows and lips to match, an interesting role reversal took place as the always outspoken artist and philanthropist was interviewed by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden—or “Joey B, as his daughter and Cardi B fan Ashley long ago dubbed him. During a 16-minute conversation (the full transcript is on Elle), the two talked about education, Medicare, the movement for Black Lives and why Cardi is now willing to throw her support behind Biden in the upcoming election.

“I have a whole list of things that I want our next president to do for us. But first, I just want Trump out,” she admitted, perhaps issuing the often gaffe-laden Biden a subtle warning when she added: “His mouth gets us in trouble so much.

“I don’t want to be lied to—we’re dealing with a pandemic right now, and I just want answers,” she continued, mentioning that one of the things she wants to see as a result is free Medicare for all, and echoing all of us when she says: “I want to know when this will be over. I want to go back to my job. But I don’t want someone to lie to me and tell me that it’s okay not to wear a mask, that everything is going to be okay. I want a president to tell me what the steps are for us to get better, to tell me, ‘This is why it is taking so long, this is why other countries are doing better than ours.’ Tell me the truth, the hard-core truth.”

As proposed by her original candidate of choice, Cardi also wants to see free college offered to Americans, something Biden “absolutely, positively” promises for families making less than $125,000 a year, in addition to free community college.

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“And I want Black people to stop getting killed and no justice for it. I’m tired of it. I’m sick of it. I just want laws that are fair to Black citizens and that are fair for cops, too,” she said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t have all of that,” answered “Uncle Joe,” invoking President Franklin Roosevelt when he added: “Presidents have to take responsibility. ... Roosevelt said the American people can take anything if you tell them the truth. Sometimes the truth is hard. But right now, we’re in a position where we have an opportunity to make so much progress.”

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As Biden sees it, seizing that opportunity lies heavily upon Gen Z and young millennials, who had a lower voter turnout in the last election.

“The vote matters,” he says. “Your generation can own what happens in the next election. They can change things dramatically if they show up and vote.”

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As parents, Cardi and Joe found common ground on the issue of childcare—but as Cardi pointed out, not all of us feel enfranchised and acknowledged as Americans.

“I feel like Black people, we’re not asking for sympathy, we’re not asking for charity—we are just asking for equality,” she said—and we agree. “We are asking for fairness, and we are asking for justice. That is all. I feel like everything people are asking for is getting interpreted in a very different way. No, it’s simple: We just want justice. We want to feel like Americans.”

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It’s real talk—and “being real is a risk” as Megan Thee Stallion tells Jezebel Culture Editor Clover Hope for W Magazine’s September Music Issue, where she spoke candidly about balancing her private life and a new, very public persona.

“I love the fact that I have a voice, and I love the fact that I do inspire a lot of girls, and I didn’t realize it at first. I was just being me,” she said. “Some of the things I say, I realized that some women might really wanna say them.”

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What does Meg have to say about the recent escalation of our ongoing racial crisis?

“The moment does feel different because it feels bigger—people have been able to hide a lot of racism, but now that we have social media, we see everything,” she said, referencing the now-infamous Amy Cooper incident. “You know, anything can go viral, so I really like how we’re able to catch these people doing these disgusting things and put ’em on blast, and people are getting fired from their jobs. You getting your scholarship taken away from whatever school you thought you was about to go to. It’s like, Yeah, we see you. You like to be disgusting in private, so let us show you how to keep that same energy in public. I like that we get to call everybody out now.”

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While her platform may be new, she already understands its power, asking Hope: “Why would you not speak out, or why would you not do everything you could to make a change if you know this is just wrong, in general? I shouldn’t have to tell you how to fix racism. I shouldn’t have to tell you not to be racist. I shouldn’t have to tell you how to help us.”

“Like, you should just genuinely feel that way,” she added. “The color of your skin does not dictate the function of your brain.”

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It also doesn’t dictate the breadth of our joy—and like us, Megan considers it a necessary priority in otherwise challenging times.

“I feel like right now, you just cannot forget to be happy,” she said. “It’s all this bad going on. You just really have to remember, What did I like to do? What makes me smile? ... Whatever you want to do to stay positive, do that.”

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Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, an avid eyeshadow enthusiast and always her own muse. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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