Cardi B was a keynote speaker at Beautycon (an annual beauty festival in New York City), and while there, she addressed comments she made in an old Instagram Live video that went viral last month.

Cardi was dragged on social media for admitting that she drugged and robbed men who would proposition her for sex back in her stripper days, and was forced to release a statement in response to the viral hashtag #SurvivingCardiB.

She said, in part:

“I never claim to be perfect or come from a perfect world [with] a perfect past. I always speak my truth, I always on my sh*t. I never glorified the things I brought up in that live. I never even put those things in my music because I’m not proud of it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it.

“I made the choices that I did at the time because I had very limited options. I was blessed to have been able to rise from that but so many women have not. Whether or not they were poor choices at the time, I did what I had to do to survive. I have a past that I can’t change. We all do.”

At Beautycon this weekend, Cardi was asked about the situation, and gave this answer as the crowd cheered her on:

“How you gonna pay ya rent? Even with a regular job you can’t pay rent, you can’t pay a f**king room in New York City… Nah, let’s be real, if you have a job that pay you $300 a week … bitch, where you gonna live at with that money? You a college student … where you gonna live at? You can’t even rent a room, so what f**k was I gonna do? I’m gonna do what the f**k I gotta do!”

When the interviewer asked Cardi if she would change anything about her past, Cardi said: “The f**k no!”

A few days ago, Cardi clapped back at a fan who insinuated that she wasn’t a good role model.

“I love you A LOT but I don’t agree with the messages you’ve been sending us young girls,” the follower wrote. “So many of us look at you as a role model and that should send a very loud message.”

Cardi responded: “For these past two years I been watching what I say and I haven’t been myself. I been feeling trap and sad cause it’s not ME but everybody tell me to be it for me to be this “rolemodel” and guess what? People still spit my past right in my face so for now imma be my old self again”

Many of Cardi’s followers had her back.

One person wrote: “Do you. You’re great, intelligent and interesting and that’s plenty for anyone to look up to.”

Another fan said: “Do good, people say trash. Do bad, people still say trash. The best way to survive the world is just do what’s comfortable with you, whoever wants you as a role model should want you for your authenticity, not what everyone else thinks you should be! DO you!”

A third person chimed in, writing: “Young girls can find role models in people in their actual lives. If anything, [they] can appreciate you being unapologetically yourself. Now that’s something to look up to. Be yourself!”

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