ET's Katie Krause was exclusively with Cardi on the set of her campaign photo shoot for her new Fashion Nova collection, and the 26-year-old rapper opened up about her new music, Las Vegas residency, jump to Hollywood and if she'd ever run for political office.
Following 2018's Invasion of Privacy, fans have been eagerly awaiting new music from Cardi, and while that doesn't seem to be too far off, her next album may be significantly different than her last.
"I can't really rap about the struggle. I can't really rap about what I used to work on because I've passed the next level," she explains. "So what am I going to talk about besides the glamour?"
With one topic off the table, Cardi plans to shift focus to another -- drama.
"I feel like I've been in a lot of drama. I feel like people have thrown so many different crazy obstacles, a new chapter in my life. Like, I've got a whole lot of s**t to talk about," she says. "There's a lot of things that... [if] I say it, people eat me up alive from it. They say I complain too much. You know what? I'm just going to put it in my music then."
Though the focus of her music may be shifting, Cardi's uniquely personal qualities and touch will remain firmly intact.
"A lot of people always told me like... 'Why don't you be like these artists? These artists go through this all the time and they don't say nothing,'" she reveals. "But, the funny thing is, the artists that they say that I'm not like, are the artists that come up to me and say, like, 'I'm so happy that you're our voice. I've been wanting to say this so bad but I can't.'"
"I gotta stand up with people that we have the same shoes, we fit the same shoes... We've been through the same thing," Cardi continues. "A lot of people... have opinions of a life that they never lived. I cannot tell you about your job because I don't know, so you can't tell me about my job and about how I should feel. You don't live it."
As for potential collabs on her upcoming album, Cardi wouldn't say no to working with Beyonce.
"Of course who don't want that," she says of working with the "Formation" singer. "You know what I'm saying?"
In addition to headline-making drama, Cardi's career has innately shifted since her last album, thanks in large part to her 9-month old daughter, Kulture, whom she shares with Offset.
"I don't know," she says of including Kulture on her next record. "I get so emotional when it comes to my kid... I did a baby song that was supposed to be on my first album and to this day, when I hear it, I get emotional."
Cardi will likely show off her new music during her Vegas residency at the Palms Resort and Casino's day-and-nightclub, KAOS.
"The first time I was in Vegas I was a little nervous because I'd never done it before and I wondered how it was gonna go," Cardi admits. "But it was amazing! We're gonna have dates for every month and stuff like that. I'm gonna turn up. It's a big party. Like, I'm a cool person to party with."
In addition to a rap career that's continuing to blossom, Cardi is taking her talents to the big screen, starring alongside Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, an upcoming film about a group of strippers who team up to scam their wealthy clients. Though Cardi was unable to play the second lead as Lopez, an executive producer on the project, had hoped, she's still prepared to use her real-life experience as a stripper to influence the movie.
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"Even though my schedule's busy it's, like, I had to be in this movie," she says. "This movie is something I can relate [to]... All the actress in the movie I can tell them, like, 'No, no, no. This is how it goes.'... The club that the movie is based on that's... the first type of club that I worked in... This was my life."
Though she's yet to be on set for the project, Cardi anticipates that Lopez will continue to be "so caring," just as she was when the dynamic duo teamed up with DJ Khaled for the song "Dinero" in 2018.
As if her plate wasn't full enough, Cardi is also plotting a new beauty line, which she said is "something that I want to do" and plans to release "very" soon. Though not much is known about her beauty line, Cardi had plenty to tease about her upcoming Fashion Nova collection, which she described as having "neon jungle, vintage, desert vibes."
"We have more color. We have more cutouts... It's more fun. It's more summertime," she says of how her second collection -- which will debut with a launch party on May 8 -- compares to her first. "... The last collection was like work... Really dark colors like mustard, olive, red burgundy. These colors are more pastel colors."
One thing that won't contribute to her busy schedule is a political run for office. Though she's made headlines for her political posts online, she plans to leave the lawmaking specifics to the professionals.
"I feel like that's a big responsibility... With my job today I could quit it today," she says. "... When you're a political person you cannot let millions of people down that voted for you, that rooted for you to make their lives better. So that's just not my thing."
Another reason for Cardi's lack of political ambition comes from the sheer challenge of trying to get anything done in government.
"I would be a Democrat [and the] House is full of Republicans right now. So it's just like, I don't wanna promise somebody something and then it won't happen because people are not going to vote for what I want or certain things won't happen," she says. "For example, I want free health care and I feel like college education should be free. That's how I feel. That's what I want. I can't promise that because I don't know how laws happen."