Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, professionally known as Cardi B, is a popular rapper, songwriter, and television personality. She became an ‘internet celebrity’ after her some of her videos went viral on the now dismissed application Vine and the larger than life application Instagram. Not very surprisingly, the app that started her career perhaps has put a dent in it too. In an Instagram live video clip recorded three years ago, Cardi B had admitted to drugging and robbing men because of limited resources. The video has resurfaced again, hence, she responded to it by stating “I did what I had to do to survive”.
This raises the question of whether limited means makes her actions justifiable? If yes then why are non-celebs in the same situation not spared? Time and time again celebrities have been forgiven for their criminal past for solely being celebrities. If one looks solely at the genre Cardi B belongs too, many similar artists have been alleged of theft, drug dealing, even murder yet they have never faced any consequences. Some say hip hop artists fake criminal pasts to get “street cred” and others say “we all have a bad past” but the former claims are not looked into while if you accept the latter as a justification then why are not the masses forgiven for the same?
Why should the law be any different for anyone? Some rappers are so far seen as to glorify their criminal history in the songs they make and no one bats an eye. Cardi B in her defence posted a long post on instagram in which she has stated that “she’s neither felt “proud” of drugging and robbing men, nor has she ever “glorified” her actions, unlike many of her fellow hip-hop colleagues” and concluded the post with “I have a past that I can’t change we all do,” … “all I can do now is be a better me for myself my family and my future.” So far there has been massive backlash on social media, many have compared her actions to those of Bill Cosby & yet further actions have not been taken.