Cardi B says joining a gang won't get you bang for your buck.
The rap phenomenon, hot on the heels of her gold-certified debut album and a pregnancy announcement on "Saturday Night Live," spoke to GQ about her past in the Bloods gang — and why she wouldn't want anyone following that path.
For her, it's a simple reason: Crime doesn't pay.
"You could ask any gang member: Being in a gang don't make you not one dollar," she said. "And I know for a fact every gang member, he asking himself, 'Why did I turn this?'"
She warned about how gangs force members to do anything in the name of loyalty — including murder — but with no true reward.
"You're doing all of that and you not making money off of it," she said.
"That's why I don't talk about it much. Because I wouldn't want a young person, a young girl, to think it's okay to join it."
Cardi B said she started hanging out with Bloods in New York City when she was 16 and members urged her to join. But she feared for her future when she realized it was supposed to be a "lifelong commitment." She said becoming a stripper at 19 helped her move away from a life of crime.
"Stripping changed my life. When I was a stripper, I didn't give a f--k about gangs, because I was so focused on making money," she said.
Her music contains veiled references to the Bloods and its signature color, red. Her breakout hit "Bodak Yellow," features the lyrics "I make bloody moves," an apparent nod to her one-time posse. On "Red Barz," she raps, "Flyer than a big big B with a Blood tie."
She told GQ she still wants to "rep" the Bloods, explaining, "You don't leave your people behind."
In May 2017, she took to Twitter to vocalize her affinity for the Bloods. "Bitch I been a big time Blood since I was 16 sooo f--k is you talking bout ..ya just never peep it," she said to a fan questioning her gang ties.
Cardi B's debut LP "Invasion of Privacy," which came out April 6, is projected to move up to 210,000 copies and top the Billboard albums chart, the music magazine said.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for Oxygen Insider for all the best true crime content.