Gracing the January 2020 issue of the world-renowned fashion magazine — she’s the fourth January cover star, joining Ashley Graham, Stella McCartney, and Greta Gerwig — the “Press” rapper discussed motherhood, her upcoming sophomore album, the pressures of fame, her marriage to Migos rapper Offset, and her past struggles with an abusive boyfriend.
See the highlights from her candid cover story below.
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Our fourth January cover star is @iamcardib! Between motherhood, a new album, and the scrutiny of ever-escalating fame, how does Cardi B handle the pressure? Without apologies: “It’s hard for me to be soft, period,” she tells Vogue (among other things). Tap the link in our bio to read the full profile, written by @RobertJHaskell. Photographed by @annieleibovitz, styled by @tonnegood, Vogue, January 2020.
On her upcoming second album:
The first time it was just me being myself. I didn’t even care if people was gonna like it or not. When I found out I did so good, I’m like, is this a big number? Everybody was like, yes, this is a huge number. So it’s scary because it’s like, now you got to top your first album, and then it’s like, da*n. I wonder if people are gonna relate to the new things, to the new life, to the new s*tt that I gotta talk about now. Music is changing. I feel like people just wanna hear twerk-twerk music, but it’s like, is that just a phase? I probably need a sexy song. I need a lot of turn-up songs. I need a slow song, a personal song. And those are harder for me—I always need help when it comes to talking about my feelings. It’s hard for me to be soft, period. So it’s a lot of thoughts, a lot of pressure. It’s really like a job.
On dealing with the highs and lows of social media this year:
This whole year has just been a lot for me. I feel like people are just so tired of me winning. I will look for my name on Twitter, and it’s like hate tweets, hate tweets, hate tweets.
Social media really made me. 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.
On dealing with an abusive boyfriend after being kicked out of her house following her high school graduation:
He didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have a job. Me and his mom used to smoke weed, and it’s like, you’re hungry but you’re high and you cannot even, like, f**king eat food because you don’t have money for it.
At that time I just felt like my world was coming to an end. I was that teenager who was like, I don’t need nobody. But my boyfriend kept cheating on me. He and I used to get into arguments, hitting each other a lot. Girls like to say, ‘I will beat a ni**a’s a**.’ I used to have that mentality. I used to hit my first boyfriend, until he started hitting me back and it just got out of control. But I started stripping, and I made enough money to move out.
On her marriage to Offset:
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,. But it’s real-life sh*t. 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. People that be in marriages for years, when they say till death do us part, they not talking about little arguments like if you leave the fridge open. That’s including everything. When I was pregnant with Kulture, a lot of people was like, oh, he has three kids already; why would you have a kid with somebody that have three kids? And it’s like, how is that such a bad thing? My dad has eight kids, and we all get along, and it feels better, fuller. And with Offset, I feel like his kids just bring a pop of fun to life when they’re in his house. I actually love it. It brings out a different side of him that I like to see, and I love to see my baby interacting with her siblings. The more the merrier.
On dealing with her marital issues publicly:
My thing is, everybody on social media acts like relationships is perfect. 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 a** if you cheat on me.
On being a mom:
Being a mom—how can I say it? Things are a little bit harder to balance, but it’s good for the mental. Like, if I’m playing with my daughter, I forget about the issues.
I could shake my a**, I could be the most ratchet-est person ever, I could get into a fight tomorrow, but I’m still a great mom. All the time I’m thinking about my kid. I’m shaking my a**, but at the same time I’m doing business, I’m on the phone with my business manager saying, make sure that a percentage of my check goes to my kid’s trust. I give my daughter so much love, and I’m setting her up for a future. I want to tell her that a lot of the sh*t that I have done in life—no matter what I did, knowing that I wanted to have kids made me go harder to secure a good future for my kids.
I’m busting my a** right now so you could have a good car when you’re 18, so you can go to school and have an apartment that I could pay for. If my daughter wants to go to college, that’s okay, but I just want her to be an owner of whatever the f**k she wants to own. Just be an owner. Be the boss.
Article: Peyton Blakemore