“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.’Cardi B acceptance speech
“[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 honour for me.”Cardi B
Cardi B made history because she became the first female rapper to win the award and ASCAP made sure to mention this.
Also honoured at the ceremony were Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and current Motown president Ethiopia Habtemariam, who accepted the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award on behalf of the iconic record label as it celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
“Your success is the greatest thrill I could have,” Gordy said, referencing the evening’s other honourees. “Pop, R&B, soul, standards, even country… my vision at Motown has always been to make music for all people: black, white, red, yellow, young, old, the cops and robbers. It’s exciting to hear how you’re constantly trying to do the same thing that we were trying to do to make this a better world. I’m so proud and thank you all for continuing the fight.”
In addition, rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris was on hand to accept the organization’s inaugural Voice of the Culture Award.
Valerie Simpson, who with late husband Nick Ashford penned many Motown classics, and ASCAP president/chairman Paul Williams presented the Heritage Award to Gordy. Afterwards, Williams joined Quality Control CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee in presenting the award to Habtemariam.