Cardi B is opening up about her decision to not submit “WAP” for the 2021 Grammys.
The rap superstar's No. 1 hit, released in August 2020, may have topped the charts and earned her five nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards the following year. But submitting it to the Grammys was not part of Cardi's game plan, mainly because of negative feedback.
"You know what? This is something that — it's like, I need to stop letting the internet control my life," Cardi, 30, said on a new episode of Jason Lee's REVOLT show.
"Because I didn't want to submit 'WAP' because I was afraid that if I win or if I… You know what's so crazy? The internet got me even afraid of winning. That is insane."
As Lee told Cardi during her most recent interview, he "wanted to jump through the phone and scream at" the musician when she decided to not submit the song for a Recording Academy nod. "Because what I loved about this song is that it united two superstars," he said.
The song, a collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion, quickly became a target for conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens as it sparked discourse following its release. Shapiro seemingly sarcastically claimed at the time that “WAP” was “what feminists fought for,” while Owens argued that the song’s eventual performance at the Grammys in 2021 was “a lesbian sex scene being simulated on television.”
Also in 2021, Cardi opened up about her thoughts to conservatives’ reactions on her hit song, telling Apple Music’s Zane Lowe that “they were just trying to figure a way out to pick on me” after her endorsement of two Democratic presidential candidates.
"When 'WAP' came out, the people that were criticizing it the most, they were like, 'This is so nasty, this is so freaky' — I don't even think it was religious people, it was really a lot of Republicans," she said, referring to conservative pundits on social media.
“I used to endorse Bernie [Sanders] and then Joe Biden, so they were just trying to figure a way out to pick on me,” she later added. “Like, ‘Oh Joe Biden is this the girl you were doing that interview with? The girl that’s talking about WAP? That’s what you want America to be influenced by?'”
"And it's like bro, c'mon now," Cardi said.
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Cardi has previously defended the song as not being overly explicit within the context of the hip-hop, calling out a double standard in the genre. “The people that the song bothers are usually conservatives or really religious people, but my thing is I grew up listening to this type of music,” Cardi said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show at the time. “Other people might think it’s strange and vulgar, but to me, it’s almost like really normal, you know what I’m saying?”
"WAP" has since gone on to win an American Music Award, a BET Award, three BET Hip Hop Awards, a People's Choice Awards and more. As of March 2022, the song has been certified 7-times platinum in the U.S.
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