Cardi B insists she has “worked [her] a– off” to be a success.
Her hard work continues to pay off as she became the first female rapper to be named Songwriter of the Year at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
The “Please Me” hitmaker was handed the prestigious accolade at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 20, 209, and the 26-year-old hip-hop star used her acceptance speech to talk about how it has taken her team and her loved ones to commend her on her work ethic and chart success to make her realize how well she’s doing.
Speaking on stage at the ceremony, Cardi — who has 11-month-old daughter Kulture with her husband, Migos rapper Offset — said: “I just want to say I’m very grateful. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing too much because when it comes to female rappers, it’s like you’re never doing too much or they’re always pitting you against another female rapper.
“People on my team are like, ‘Cardi, you’re crazy. You won a Grammy. Cardi, all your songs are charting.’ [With] everybody saying I’m not this or that, sometimes I gotta see it and feel it for myself because it’s hard. Everybody always wants to say I made it because of this or made it because of that. I made it because I worked my a– off … Thank you very much, ASCAP. This is an honor for me.”
The evening also saw T.I. honored with the first Voice of the Culture Award.
The “Whatever You Like” rapper — whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. — was recognized with the special accolade for his 20-year career in music, movies and technology and for his philanthropy work.
The 38-year-old star — who launched the tech investment company TechCypha earlier this year — had his 3-year-old daughter Heiress in his arms as he spoke about using his voice to make the world a better place for his children and admitted the award is an “extreme accomplishment” for someone of his background.
The father of six — who also has Major, 11, Clifford, 14, with wife Tameka and grown-up children Domani, Messiah and Deyjah from previous relationships — said: “People like me come from a place where they usually don’t let us in these kinds of buildings to sit at tables with fancy tablecloths and nice silverware. So for us to be here is an extreme accomplishment. “I’ve learned to use my voice to create a path for the future.
“I have always said that our culture is our greatest asset … I am a proud product of it and a fearless protector of it.”
He added: “I’m not being honored for anything that the rest of you in the audience can’t do.
“I’m just doing my little part and urge everybody else to do their part, too.
“All of the success that I have and all the influence that I’ve gained ain’t going to mean s— if I don’t use it make the world a better place for my children to live in.”
Motown Records founder Berry Gordy also received the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award.
The iconic Detroit label — which helped launched the careers of the likes of Stevie Wonder, the late Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye — followed in the footsteps of artists including Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire and Bill Withers in being bestowed with the special honor.