Bronx-born Cardi B continues to blaze new paths, this time making history as the first female rapper on a U.S. Vogue cover. Shot by Annie Leibovitz and styled by Tonne Goodman, Cardi wears a Michael Kors dress in a photo that includes her one-year-old daughter, Kulture.
Titled, “Unfiltered, Unapologetic, Unbowed,” the article highlights the Grammy-award winner’s renegade personality as the key to her ability to bust down multiple doors.
Commenting on her early efforts as a rap artist, she explained, “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.”
As much success as she has achieved, Cardi admits she has fears about topping herself. The 26-year old noted, “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.”
And while people rooted for her when she was at the bottom, Cardi has found it’s indeed lonely at the top. Commenting on her mid-summer single “Press,” she related, “I thought ‘Press’ was fun and it was gangsta, and then because it didn’t perform as good as my other songs, people was like, ‘Oh, she’s a flop. Oh, she’s dying out.’ “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.”
Never one to avoid tough topics, the article also addressed her brief break up with her husband, Offset, following news he cheated in December 2018. Cardi said, “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.”
As to why Offset having children with three other women was never a big deal to her, Cardi explained, “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.”
As for new music, Cardi reconfirmed she’s working on her second album which is scheduled for release early next year.
Find more on vogue.com and look for the issue to hit newstands later this month.
View this post on Instagram
Perhaps the central question dogging @iamcardib, one of our four January cover stars, at the moment is how to sustain the breathtaking momentum that carried her from stripper to social-media phenom to reality-television star to world-beating rapper in less than five years. “Bodak Yellow,” her breakout single from 2017, became the first number-one hit by a solo female rapper in nearly two decades, since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. Cardi’s subsequent debut studio collection, Invasion of Privacy, was critically hailed and landed her a Grammy for best rap album, another first by a solo female rap artist. Tap the link in our bio to read Cardi's thoughts on her next album, politics, motherhood, marriage, and more. Photographed by @annieleibovitz, styled by @tonnegood, written by @RobertJHaskell, Vogue, January 2020.