After being presented the honor by Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer (“Cardi has used her platform to spread the truth about what happened to Breonna and to reaffirm that Black women’s lives matter”), the rapper addressed “all the girls out there that are just like me” to tell them “there’s hope for your dreams.”
Below, read Cardi’s full speech from Thursday night’s virtual ceremony:
This year, when it came to music, I had so many things planned. I had so many projects that I wanted to come out. Unfortunately, due to COVID, I couldn’t put out the visuals the way that I wanted, it messed up my creative space. You know, I think everyone this year was just messed up. So I’m just grateful and thankful that the song that I actually did put out this year, which was ‘WAP,’ featuring Megan Thee Stallion, not only was it an amazing song that broke so many records, but it was a conversation that I never thought was going to be so big. I mean, it pissed off a whole bunch of Republicans for no reason, you know what I’m saying? It was just weird. [Laughs]
I want to say thank you, everybody, and I want to say to all the girls out there that are just like me, or just regular girls, when I came into the music industry, I didn’t know if these people were going to accept me. Throughout the years, if you listen to my mixtapes and you listen to my music now, I have progressed because I wanted to progress. I want to be the best I can at anything I do and, you know, you got to put your mind to it.
When I first became an adult — I always wanted to be an artist, but you know, when bills come, situations come, you’re just like, ‘Damn, what am I going to do in the next five, four years?’ And you’re just working to survive and pay bills and everything, and that’s not what life is about. Life is about making your dreams come true, but in order to make your dreams come true, don’t think that it’s gonna come and fall from the sky to your lap. You actually gotta put in the work. You gotta be ambitious. You gotta network. You gotta become great at what you do. You gotta be able to take criticism — believe it or not, y’all be saying I don’t take criticism, but yes I do. That’s why when people be like, ‘Oh, you can’t do this, you can’t do that,’ I practice so I can become better and better. There’s hope. There’s hope for your dreams.
Thank you guys for everything. Thank you for the support, thank you for the love. Thank you for always uplifting me when I’m going through stuff in the media or not, thank you for always loving my music, thank you for loving me, and I love you guys. And [click] bye! [Laughs]