It’s no secret that Cardi B has a penchant for the real and raw. The Grammy-winning rapper is known for her raunchy and vulgar lyrics, especially when she teams up with Houston bombshell Megan Thee Stallion. Their most recent collaboration, “Bongos,” was cut from the same cloth with sexually forward lyrics that would probably stop the Earth on its axis if it were to ever air on radio like that.
Cardi B has become accustomed to chopping up the clean version of her explicit songs to make them more digestible to the masses, but it doesn’t mean that she takes any pleasure in the process. During her recent interview on Hot Ones, Cardi tackled a number of questions while indulging in some spicy wings that made it even more interesting. When asked about making the clean version of “Bongos,” the rapper expressed her disappointment with the lyrics she had to settle for to make the track acceptable.
“It’s annoying! So annoying!” said Cardi. “Like how upset… because I just did it like practically two weeks ago. And I was so over it because you know my new song [‘Bongos’], I be like, ‘N***a eat this a$$ like a plum.’ So you know, I’m doing the clean version and I’m like alright, ‘Baby eat it up like a plum!'”
She continued: “And [the label is like], ‘No, you still can’t play that for pop radio.’ And I’m like, ‘Baby eat these peaches and plums.’ And I was so over it! [I was] like, ‘I cannot say that. That sounds so corny.’ That sounded like a Kidz Bop, whatever my son [listens to]. But I have no choice so, ‘Baby eat these peaches and plums!'”
The original version of a song is usually what an artist holds dear due to the unfiltered nature of the raw emotions and plainspoken expressions. It’s the realest version of what they aimed to depict in the first place, which can make taking it apart to create a much less raw, buttoned-up version kinda painful and, in Cardi’s case, just “so annoying!” The radio version actually turned out pretty good, as fans seem to be loving its nuances.
It’s not at all uncommon for Cardi B to denounce making radio edits to her sexually explicit tracks. Back in 2020, the Bronx superstar revealed in an interview how much she hated recording the clean version of her Billboard No. 1 hit “WAP,” also starring Megan Thee Stallion. Cardi made an appearance on the Kyle and Jackie O Show that summer when she told the hosts that she was even more disgusted with the verbiage she used in the clean version than the raw version.
The New York rapper explained that she was forced to interchange the meaning of the acronym “WAP” to “wet and gushy,” which she loathed. “‘Wet and gushy.’ Ugh, I don’t even like saying it,” she expressed as one of the Australian radio hosts called the clean version dirtier than the explicit one.
“I would have had to replace it with, ‘Now from the top, make it drop, bounce that big ol’ booty,’ because that was the only thing that rhymed,” the rapper explained. “It was really hard for me to clean this song up because nobody could convince me to keep ‘gushy,’ because I hate the word ‘gushy.’ Ugh.”
Chances are Cardi B will always struggle to make the clean version of her songs because they make such a bold statement in their original form that finding the right substitutes to make it fit for pop radio while maintaining its hit factor can be challenging. There is a lot more cleaning up to come as Cardi has made mention of a possible EP with Megan Thee Stallion and maybe even a future tour.