Cardi B posted a teenage throwback on Instagram to kick the week off, along with a big PSA for her young followers. The rapper put up three photos of herself at the age of 15, including one where she was smoking. She asked her fans not to risk their health just to "look cool" with a cigarette.
Cardi B has built her career and her reputation on telling it like it is, and giving an unflinching look at life, for better or worse. This includes crimes and vices she has experience with, but she does not want her fans to mimic her mistakes. In her Instagram post on Sunday night, she asked them to learn from her.
"Dear little girls don’t smoke cigarettes or weed trying to look cool for the seniors," she wrote, "'cause you really gonna grow up and see how dumb you look doing it. Seriously tho what was I thinking? Anyways naaa my mustache was too much."
Fans chimed in with their own tips for young people, and their own youthful regrets. Many joked about Cardi's piercings in the photos, including her lips, eyebrow and ears.
"Trueeee!!! And also, don’t give yourself 10 piercings on both ears at a time, specially on your own lmfaoooo," one fan wrote.
"15 y/o you will always be the realest you! Just haven’t learned to make good decisions yet," added another with a laughing emoji.
"Yes luv let’s guide the youth and let them learn from our mistakes I love this," another fan commented.
Cardi B is now 12 years older and wiser than the version of herself in Sunday's throwback post. At 27 years old, the rapper is one of the biggest stars in the world, from music to movies and social media in general.
A big part of that fame comes from her online candor. Cardi started out with viral clips on Vine, and quickly transitioned to Instagram as well. From there, she found her way onto Love & Hip Hop: New York, where she was a regular cast member for two years.
Cardi B really broke out with her first Billboard Hot 100 single "Bodak Yellow." She was only the second female rapper to hit the top of the charts with a solo song, the first being Lauryn Hill in 1998. She followed up her two mixtape releases with a major label record, Invasion of Privacy just last year.
It feels like Cardi's stardom has lasted longer than that already, however. She is so ubiquitous that Ellen DeGeneres actually dressed as Cardi for Halloween this year, in an outfit she called "Cardi E." Cardi B joined her on stage for a twerking lesson, to the amusement of fans.
Cardi B's second album, Tiger Woods, is due out in 2020.