Cardi B makes history again.
The Grammy winner becomes the first female rapper to grace the cover of U.S. Vogue. The 27-year-old cradles her daughter Kulture while wearing a red polka-doted Michael Kors dress and Jimmy Choo heels for the magazine’s January 2020 issue, shot by Annie Leibovitz.
In the unfiltered interview, she reflects on her whirlwind year. “This whole year has just been a lot for me. I feel like people are just so tired of me winning,” says Cardi. “I will look for my name on Twitter, and it’s like hate tweets, hate tweets, hate tweets.”
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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.
The Hustlers star also opens up about motherhood and raising her baby girl. “If my daughter wants to go to college, that’s okay, but I just want her to be an owner of whatever the fuck she wants to own. Just be an owner. Be the boss,” says Cardi, who is thinking about co-designing a children’s clothing line with Offset.
The couple broke off their relationship in December 2018 after Offset cheated on her, but reunited early this year. “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,” she says. “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.”
Cardi is now feeling the pressure as she records her sophomore album, the follow-up to her 2018 debut Invasion of Privacy. “So it’s scary because it’s like, now you got to top your first album, and then it’s like, damn. I wonder if people are gonna relate to the new things, to the new life, to the new shit that I gotta talk about now.”
Read more highlights, including her thoughts on President Trump and Bernie Sanders, below.
On taking Offset back: “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 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.”
On Offset’s other kids: “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 feminism: “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.”
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@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.
On Trump: “Because he was an entertainer, Trump knows how to get them to keep on talking about him. All these little antics that he do, like get into arguments with Chrissy Teigen, it’s just techniques to get attention. And I get that. You like a certain artist that do crazy shit. But this person is in charge of our country. This person is in charge of our well-being. When it comes to my president, I want my president to be, like, extremely holy. That is the person I want to look up to.”
On Bernie Sanders: “One thing that I like about Bernie is that, you know, there’s proof that he’s been doing this for years. That he been caring about people for years. That it’s inside of him, being a humanitarian…He naturally cares about minorities. He actually cares about people getting Medicare because he knows they can’t afford it. I don’t feel like he’s just saying these things ’cause he want the vote.”
On her next 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, damn. I wonder if people are gonna relate to the new things, to the new life, to the new shit 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 being a mother: “I could shake my ass, 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 ass, 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 shit 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.”