this is "nightline." >> tonight, card by b. >> i like more than checks. >> on money and makeup. the hip-hop superstar headlining beauty con and dishing out financial advice. >> i'm going to stop taking bookings until y'all start paying me more. >> helping other women build their brands. and their entrepreneurial dreams. plus many muggy gals from blackish to the big screen. >> i wish you were little. >> told you watch it. >> not only starring, but also executive producing. >> what in the black jesus. >> the youngest ever ep of a studio movie. >> i mean, it's crazy.
it's crazy to hear the title. it's nuts. but first, here are the "nightline 5." >> dad, dad, can you drive me over the jessica's house? >> at northwestern mutual, this is what our version of financial planning looks like. tomorrow's important, but so is making the most of the house before they're out of the house. spend your life living. find an adviser at northwestern mutual.com. and number one is coming up
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she has conquered hip-hop and is now branching out to fashion and makeup, headlining this year's beauty con, and hoping to inspire other women with her tough entrepreneurial spirit. here is "nightline's" ashan singh. >> reporter: this is a new stage for cardi b. the hip-hop superstar and grammy winner is headlining beauty con. a massive convention full of celebrities, makeup, and money. but cardi b isn't here to perform. she's here to talk. >> what's popping, everybody? >> reporter: the artist famous for making money moves is revealing the secrets to her financial success. >> i definitely get paid equally. you want to know why? i say i'm going to stop taking bookings until y'all start paying me more. and that bag [ bleep ].
>> reporter: and don't even get her started talking about taxes. >> and damn, i gave all this money to uncle sam, and they're there are still potholes in my street. >> reporter: we're so used to seeing you on stage. so used to seeing you on the red carpet. why are you here today? >> to represent women before the fame, you know what i'm saying? before the fame, i had to figure out how to pay bills. i had to figure out how it was going to be my next meal, just like everybody else. i wanted to let a coupe of people know how i did it, how i managed, how i budgeted, how i made my dreams come true. >> reporter: the bronx born former stripper is now a household name worth millions of dollars, building an empire out of her music career. with hits like "like money." ♪ ♪ >> reporter: she is also einvestments in fashion and nails. plus with 42 million follow owners instagram alone, she has a built-in customer base. >> i like million dollars bills. >> reporter: although the i like
it rapper is here to give advice and guidance, cardi is shaving at the role model, tweeting over the weekend still spit my past right in my face. so for now i'm going to be my old self again. where does that frustration come from? and how you channel it? >> it comes from whe fit started doing videos, i didn't even think for one second what i was going to say. and nowadays i got to watch what i say. i feel like i'm trapped. i feel like i'm trapped, like i'm not being myself. this saint 2016. i changed a lot for you [ bleep ] so i could be a damn role model for your kids. so you need to be the role model for your kids. >> reporter: now she is able to show other women how to capitalize on their personalities and capitalize on their brands. women like melissa. melissa quit her career to start a lipstick business out of her kitchen. >> i was just kind of creating lip colors for me because i couldn't find them. and then when i started to understand that this didn't really exist, especially at that
time, like i was oh, i'm taking this to the moon. >> reporter: and now she is an owner of the lip bar. and has a booth here at beauty con. but it hasn't been easy. in 2015, an opportunity presented itself on the hit show shark tank. >> hi, i'm melissa butler. >> the sharks' rejection was quick -- >> that is such a bad yd. >> reporter: and devastating. >> the chances that this is a business are practically zero, and they would crush you like the cockroaches you are. you only have so many minutes on earth. don't waste them trying to sell lipstick. >> they were brutal. >> yeah, they were. to me it's more about the investment and that 7 million people watch the show and we can get call of these eyes on us. >> reporter: today the lip bar has its own flagship store in detroit and melissa is the brand's face. but the biggest coup? target. her brand in nearly 500 stores nationwide and available online.
if you could say anything to those judges right now where you are now, what would it be? >> i would thank them. the day the shark tank episode aired, we got 35,000 hits to our website. and we got thousands of orders. i would just thank them for giving me the courage that i didn't know i had. >> reporter: the lip bar's success also attracted the attention of beauty con. and the co-founder. well took the co-founder out on the convention floor. >> this is what it looks like when you take a large group of people and essentially give them a platform to feel good about themselves. >> reporter: add in some of the biggest social media influencer, celebrities, and now the general public. >> i actually want to start my own sustainable beauty line, tech beauty line. so i came here for inspiration. >> reporter: moj made a splash as an entry stri disrupter, trying to change. >> not really wearing makeup, i
feel flattered to be so accepted and so celebrated within this unit. >> reporter: the mission of beauty con is more than sales and products. last year only about 2% of all venture capital, that's usually money invested in startups went to women. what's worse, women of color accounted for only 0.02%. yet women of color are starting businesses at a much higher rate. for example, melissa started the lip bar back in 2012, but landed her first major investor just last year. >> i love her. really, she is part of the portfolio of brands that we're the most proud of. >> reporter: this year, part of moj's strategy to get women talking about business and strategy is cardi b. hundreds of people, mostly women packed the halls ahead of her appearance, including melissa. >> cardi, cardi! >> this outfit crazy. this hat, i love it. >> reporter: the rapper dispensed plenty of advice in true cardi b fashion.
>> i want to [ bleep ] know this right now, and i'm going take off my shoes. and i'm going to give you some [ bleep ] advice that a lot of people aren't going to [ bleep ] tell you. always take a business class, because sometimes the career that you study for one day is not going make you happy, and you want to become your own boss, but you cannot be your own boss because you don't know how to manage a business. >> cardi kept it real, and it continued backstage in our exclusive one-on-one. >> don't talk about my choices if you wasn't in my shoes. >> reporter: what lessons have you learned along the way about managing your money? >> always have a business manager, like i said. always, always have lawyers to review what you're getting into. i got myself in hot messes because i trusted so many people. >> reporter: so much of the music is about stunting, showing off your wealth. where does financial literacy fit in hip-hop today? >> you might have two million in your bank account so oh, i can buy a lambo because i got two
million and a lambo cost 500,000. you have to give money to uncle sam, you spend 500,000 on a car and then what you really have in your bank account is about $200,000. before you spend something, make sure you can afford it. just because you see it in your bank account, that doesn't mean you what you have. >> reporter: she says it's time for women to step up, to get paid and treated equally. >> women don't understand the power that they have. me just asking a question, me with my looks, i could get whatever the [ bleep ] i want, and i have the same power. these men are not that smart. everybody is telling me who is your role models, who do you look up to, and they always expect me to say like an artist. i can't relate to an artist because i ain't saw they struggle. i saw my mom's struggle. i saw the [ bleep ] at the strip club struggle. i always tell myself those are the people that used to tell me don't be mean. don't be mean. be greater. >> she is so honest and so relatable. my favorite part of her panel
was when she was basically saying like, look, i'm a celebrity, but you can also be a celebrity if you just focus. >> reporter: by the end of the day, melissa was packing up and ready to get right back to the grind. what's next for you? >> we're back to the pavement. like i have a strategy meeting tomorrow. we're doing another trade show next week. >> reporter: so you're always hustling? >> i'm always hustling. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm ashan singh in new york. next here, marseille martin from star of "blackish" to hollywood executive produce. >> and she is only 14. this is amazing. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, are you okay? even when i was there, i never knew when my symptoms would keep us apart. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira can help get, and keep uc under control when other medications haven't worked well enough. and it helps people achieve control that lasts.
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it is one thing to have the talent and the good fortune to become a star at the age of 10. it is something else entirely to become executive producer of a hollywood movie just four years later. that's where the star of "blackish," marsai martin finds herself tonight as her new film opens this week. here is abc's linsey davis. >> look at that, that's a forearm. >> reporter: at first blush, marsai martin appears to be like any other teen, wowed by the bright lights of new york's times square. >> look at this. >> oh, my gosh! >> reporter: until a moment like this reminds of all of just how big this 14-year-old really is. >> i can't breathe. >> reporte marsai's meteoric ascent to the billboards of times square largely started when she landed the role of diane, the mischief twin on abc's hit show "blackish." >> yeah! >> reporter: not long after the show premiered five years ago,
the then 10-year-old actress pitched the idea for a movie. how does that work at 10 years old you decide i'm going sashay into universal studios and pitch a movie? >> well, it's longer than that. it's like a longer process. hey. no, it wasn't just me since it was tracy oliver and kenny barris was in there. they kind of guided me to what i should say. >> i wish you were little. >> reporter: what she said sold them on the idea of doing a body swap movie. >> what in the black jesus. >> reporter: called "little." >> your body can't fit into my clothes. this is squats. this is pilates. >> that body looks like baby gap, gymboree, oshkosh b gosh to me. >> reporter: she not only landed herself a starring role, but earned herself the title of thea studio film ever.
how does that feel? >> i mean, it's crazy. it's crazy to hear the title. it's nuts, because when my parents told me, i was like nah, you lying. i was like stop. me being a little black girl and being 14, of course that doesn't happen all the time. so i feel like i'm not doing this just. >> reporter: this is not regardless of color. >> yeah, this is just in general, you know. and it's great that it happens to be me. >> reporter: "little" is a tribute to tom hanks' classic movie "big." with a modern twist. >> how did you go from this to this? you went to bed grown and woke up -- >> little? >> that's for white people, because black people don't have the time. >> reporter: marsai shares a role with regina hall. >> you better stop quivering that lip. >> reporter: they both played jordan sanders. >> are you awake? >> yeah, i was awake. i was just meditating.
>> reporter: tech executive who inspires fear in all she encounters. >> when i'm not calling. i mean, am i being unreasonable? >> i'm single, but not looking. >> reporter: playing the role of jordan's assistant is isa ray, the creator of hbo's hit show "insecure." what was the set like of "little"? because it was kind of all black everything, actor, directors, producer, all around. >> it was beautiful. it was a beautiful set. we all felt comfortable. lots of laughter, lots of understanding, and no, that's not typical. just being on other sets where i've been what? this is crazy. no one made any kind of effort to make sure that behind the scenes there are more women, there are more people of color. >> reporter: marsai is now hoping to change the normal, push fogger more representation in the industry. >> it's marsai, and i'm going to be showing you guys genius productions. >> reporter: she even started her own production company, genius productions.
marsai's mother carol says she knew her daughter had it even as a baby, even before she started belting out beyonce as a 6-year-old. ♪ >> reporter: how did you know when you have this little girl, she does her first commercial at 5, i have a star on my hands. >> you know what? i didn't know star. i just knew big personality, and i knew that talent. i can really, really see that she had a gift. >> marsai martin! >> reporter: now she is sharing that gift with the world. she just won two naacp image awards. and her makeup tutorials on instagram have garnered nearly a million followers. >> she is very mature, but she is also very much, you know, a kid. >> reporter: so as a mom, are you very conscious of putting limits and saying no still? >> absolutely. i mean, i'm still a mom. it doesn't matter that she has almost a million followers on instagram or whatever. momming doesn't change because of that. you know, she is a regular
teenager. so there is nails. that's a challenge. she wants to get acrylics. and that's not really a thing yet. so we do press-on nails. well find a happy medium. >> reporter: do you feel like you're still just a typical regular old 14-year-old girl? >> yeah, i mean, i still talk about regular things. i talk about boys. i talk about the regular things, you know. >> reporter: bike riding? >> bike ride. >> reporter: both marsai and ray say they want to create narratives that represent black women in a more multifaceted way. >> we're not just one person. we're not just one personality. i think that was a source of so much frustration for a while. that's why it's important to just show our nuances in all their glory. and i think both of us are committed to telling those stories that reflect that. >> when i was growing up -- well, i'm still growing up. but when i was small small, there was like one black girl on tv, and, you know, she was known as the sassy one with the tutu
and saying mmm-hmmm all the time. for me, i thought that's how they saw us. so i feel like this very important for us to tell our story and who we are as people. >> reporter: at just 14, she has already taken control of her own narrative and then some. and while she may be little, she is already a boss. i read once that someone asked what do you want to be when you grow up, and you said a legend. >> yeah, i was small. i was tiny when i said that, but i still stick to it. >> our thanks to linsey davis, and we'll be right back. but does psoriasis ever get in the way? embrace the chance of 100% clear skin with taltz, the first and only treatment of its kind offering people with moderate to severe psoriasis a chance at 100% clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of people quickly saw a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis.
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team as an intern in 2013. a beloved member of the "nightline" and "2020" families, she was a tenacious journalist. at popcorn with peter travers, she helped produce interviews with a galaxy of stars including snoop dogg, who shared her birthday, a fun fact she loved to share. a fashion maven, alexa travelled the world exhaustively, sharing vintage shopping tips on her instagram feed, which is why her 10-year-old self was no doubt jumping for joy, trying on old school barbie outfits for gma digital. >> my childhood self would be really excited to be wearing such a grown-up outfit. >> she was known for dancing the night away and occasionally serenading our newsroom. this is her scene-stealing rendition of "shallow" dressed not as gaga, but as bradley, beard and all. she and her duet jonathan balthazar took home first prize.
her friends say it was impossible not to get swept up by her sass, her charm, her enthusiasm for life. but most of all, alexa was a devoted daughter, sister, and cherished friend who could light up a room and cheer up everyone in it with her contagious laughter. alexa gabrielle valiente passed away unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 27. >> we will all miss her here at "nightline" and at abc news, and we want to say to the members of the valiente family, we are thinking of you tonight. the valiente family, we are thinkifor comfort food at a comfortable price, try my sourdough patty melt combo with fries and a drink for just $4.99. it's the perfect remedy for the uncomfortable things in life... like flying, the dentist ...and guys named ronald. i have my reasons. try my $4.99 sourdough patty melt combo today.