Cardi B’s blunt nature is one of her most defining characteristics and in her latest interview with Vogue she doesn’t hold back when discussing motherhood, feminism, politics, and her marriage. The 27-year-old rapper is seen on the January 2020 cover of the magazine cradling 16-month-old Kulture, the daughter she shares with rapper Offset. The two married in September 2017 but by December 2018 they had split after Offset cheated. By February of this year, they were back together and in the wake of their reunion, Cardi says she received a lot of backlash for taking him back.
View this post on Instagram
@iamcardib, who was born Belcalis Almánzar, has famously described herself as a “regula degula schmegula girl from the Bronx.” Her father is Dominican, and her mother is from Trinidad. She was a class clown who always dreamed of being a famous rapper. “I don’t know what it is—I will never know what it is—but ever since I was young, people liked to hear me talk,” she says. “I was always that person, like, I didn’t really have a lot of friends, but people was excited to see me in class because they knew I was funny. They was dying to hear a story from me." Tap the link in our bio to read our full profile on the star, written by @RobertJHaskell. Photographed by @annieleibovitz, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, January 2020.
“When me and my husband got into our issues — you know, he cheated and everything — and I decided to stay with him and work together with him, a lot of people were so mad at me; a lot of women felt disappointed in me,” Cardi explains. “But it’s real-life shit. If you love somebody and you stop being with them, and you’re depressed and social media is telling you not to talk to that person because he cheated, you’re not really happy on the inside until you have the conversation. Then, if you get back with them, it’s like, how could you? You let all of us down.
But she saw it not as a failure but as a step toward rebuilding their relationship and working on their marriage because she realizes that no relationship is perfect despite social media posts leading people to think otherwise. Throughout their relationship, they’ve been vocal about their love and their heartbreak with Offset ambushing her on stage asking her to take him back and Cardi opening up about their sex life.
“My thing is, everybody on social media acts like relationships is perfect,” Cardi says. “And that’s crazy to me. I’m around so many women, and there’s always a woman talking about how she loves her man, but her man is not financially stable, or she has a problem with his mom, or the sex is not as good anymore. Everybody has issues. I believe in forgiveness. I prayed on it. Me and my husband, we prayed on it. We had priests come to us. And we just came to an understanding like bro, it’s really us against the world. He has my back for everything, I have his back for everything, so when you cheat, you’re betraying the person that has your back the most. Why would you do that? We have come to a clear understanding. For me, monogamy is the only way. I’ll beat your ass if you cheat on me.”
She goes on to say that she was criticized for having a baby with a man who already had three but she said her dad has eight kids and she believes “the more the merrier.” They are looking to find a family home but Offset — who is from Atlanta — has never wanted to live in New York, which is hard for the Bronx-native who is most comfortable in or near NYC.
“It’s not an easy thing,” he told Vogue. “We both have our own households. But you grow. We’re way better now with communication. She’s balancing a lot. She feels like she can’t be absent a lot, and our jobs are crazy. But I think motherhood got her more focused. I always tell her, don’t follow the comments. But she’s been outspoken on things since before she was making music — she’s not ever putting on, she’s not ever being cool. At the end of the day, she’s still going to rap about the same shit, which is what it’s like being a woman.”
Cardi dissects the way women are viewed and the in-fighting that happens among women including those who identify as feminists. As a former stripper who continues to hustle as she works on her follow-up to her massively successful 2017 debut album Invasion of Privacy, she’s encountered harsh criticism for her life and career choices.
“Women always want to talk about feminism and supporting everybody,” she says, “except if it doesn’t fit your category of what to support. Certain women that claim they are feminists only think that a certain type of woman should represent that. Like oh, you have to have a college degree, and you have to fucking be, practically, like, a senator or Mother Teresa or a Christian holy woman. No, you do not. Feminism means being equal to a man. And I am.”
The idea of women adhering to certain ideals and falling victim to the pressures brought on by social media to attain perfection both professionally and personally plague Cardi as well. She rose to fame through her funny videos on Vine and Instagram and quickly went from a social-media phenom to reality TV star to achieving worldwide fame as a rapper and consequently her relationship with social media has evolved.
“Before I got on Love & Hip Hop, I had millions of followers just off the way I speak. Just me talking. And that’s how I got discovered. But now social media makes everything hard.” But she remains steadfast in her focus being on her daughter and ensuring she’s taken care of, discussing how she regularly puts money into her daughter’s trust fund. She and Offset are in talks to co-design a collection of children’s clothing with Kulture as the CEO according to Cardi, who admits she works hard now so that her daughter will have a home, a car, and the opportunity to pursue whatever she desires. Her refreshing honesty shows how, just like any mother, she’s just a hardworking mom who wants the best for her kid.
“I just want her to be an owner of whatever the f*ck she wants to own. Just be an owner. Be the boss.”