For Vogue’s January issue, Cardi B and her daughter Kulture were shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. The Bronx rapper is currently hard at work on her second album, after having recently appeared in the hugely successful film Hustlers and Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.
Although she admits she finds it difficult to talk about her feelings, she speaks candidly in the interview about navigating the unprecedented success of “Bodak Yellow,” her breakout single from 2017, and the challenges of living life under the relentless gaze of the internet.
The 27-year-old Bronx native also opened up about how social media has been a source of pain and comfort throughout her career. Her marriage with rapper Offset, her political preferences, her approach to motherhood have all been targets of fierce criticism. Yet as she admits, even before her success as a reality TV star, it was social media that made her.
We’ve selected some of the best quotes from her Vogue cover interview below.
On her new album
“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… 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 Offset’s infidelity
“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…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. We have come to a clear understanding. For me, monogamy is the only way. I’ll beat your ass if you cheat on me.”
“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.”
On the pressures of social media
“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.
“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.”
On growing up in the Bronx
“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. But the streets distracted me from my dream… I’d rather just go hang out with my friends and smoke weed and be around gangs and be with this guy. That type of shit distracted me. And being an artist was just so far-fetched.”
On why she supports Bernie Sanders
“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. I don’t want my president to have any hatred toward a certain type of people. I don’t want my president to be arguing with freaking celebrities or caring what people think of him.”
Head over to Vogue to read the rest of the interview in full.