In a new feature for GQ, Cardi B opens up — truly — about some of the most difficult things one can talk about, and the conversation yielded tons of information about the chart-topping rapper just after she wrapped her Best Weekend Ever.
On April 6, Cardi B released Invasion of Privacy, her first full-length that’s already gone gold and projected to debut atop the Billboard 200. On April 7, she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and shone a spotlight on her baby bump in the middle of her performance of “Be Careful.” And on April 8, this story dropped, and with it came a number of revelations about her music, her connection with fiancé Offset, her Bloods/Brims affiliation (and whether or not she even has one), her complicated relationship with fame and more.
Here’s a handful of the most revealing, surprising and endearing ones, below.
Cardi B gets real about her love for Offset — and their future together. Now that the cat’s out of the bag and Cardi and Offset have both shared their joy over their next chapter, she’s candid about their relationship and how hard it was for her to trust him, and vice versa.
“For a long time, we was in love with each other but we didn’t really trust in each other,” she said. “It was like a competition of who’s gonna hit each other up first. I don’t want to hit him up first; he will hit me up first. People used to put things in my head: ‘He gonna leave you. He be fucking with mad bitches.’ People used to put things in his head: ‘Cardi, she’s a dog. Don’t trust her.’ We never really trusted each other because I always feel like he could get any girl he wants—what makes me think he’s gonna want me? I think he felt the same way. Niggas want to be with me, and bitches wanna be with him … It was just too much playing games. He would look for me; sometimes he would take a jet to me. And it was just like, ‘Let’s stop playing. We really love each other. I’m scared to lose you, and you scared to lose me.'”
They’ll raise their family in Atlanta, and that was Offset’s call. “[Offset]’s never comfortable in New York,” she said. “He loves down south. He told me to move in with him, in Atlanta. I stayed in his house a couple of times, but it’s so hard to live there. He decided, though, that we’re going to build a house in Atlanta, and that’s the house that we’re gonna raise our kids in. But my job is in New York, always, so I can barely spend time in Atlanta.”
Offset is really involved and invested in her success. Hip-hop is what brought Offset and Cardi together, and their professional lives definitely factor into their personal ones — even when they’re technically off the clock. “I don’t really know the music business too well, so I always feel like people taking advantage of me,” she explained. “He’s always making sure that I’m well taken care of or that I learn something. Sometimes, I be so sleepy because I do so much things. So he always pressure me to go to the studio. Like, just last week I was sleeping, and it was three in the morning. This motherfucker took the sheets off of me and woke me up. Refused to give me back the sheets until I get my ass in the studio. And I like how we always planning on going half and half on everything. His mom always looking for lawyers for me. It’s like we help each other to be adults.”
She’s passionate about politics, and wants stricter gun control laws. Cardi is a presidential trivia prodigy — the whole intro of the piece is about her love for FDR and American history — but she’s also up on the news. Cardi straight-up won’t entertain the talk of arming teachers sprung up in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting: “When it came to the school shooting, that’s when I was like, ‘Okay, this n—a really think that everything is a joke.’ Have you ever shot a gun before? It’s very scary and loud. It’s traumatizing to shoot somebody. On top of that, what makes you think that a kid wouldn’t come behind a teacher, shoot her from the back, then go in her desk and take the gun? And now you got two guns. It’s like, ‘Don’t you calculate?’
“I’m always watching the news,” she continued. “I’m always looking at it on my phone. I hate when you talk about something that’s going on in the community, people think, because you’re famous, you doing it for clout. But you concerned about it because you are a citizen of America; you are a citizen of the world. If I want to get cool points, I could take a picture with a thong and my ass and y’all gonna give me the same amount of likes. I’m gonna trend even bigger.”
She addresses the conversation surrounding her gang affiliation without sugarcoating it. “Here’s the thing,” Cardi tells GQ. “I never really wanted to talk about that, because I always wanted a music deal. I always want to keep my endorsements. When I was 16 years old, I used to hang out with a lot of… Bloods. I used to pop off with my homies. And they’d say, ‘Yo, you really get it poppin’. You should come home. You should turn Blood.’ And I did. Yes, I did. And something that — it’s not like, oh, you leave. You don’t leave.”
She adds that stripping kept her from formally joining, and that money has a lot to do with why she hasn’t talked about it. “When I was a stripper, I didn’t give a fuck about gangs, because I was so focused on making money,” she said. “One thing I could say, you could ask any gang member: Being in a gang don’t make you not one dollar. And I know for a fact every gang member, he asking himself, ‘Why did I turn this?’ … You’re doing all of that and you not making money off of it. That’s why I don’t talk about it much. Because I wouldn’t want a young person, a young girl, to think it’s okay to join it. You could talk to somebody that is considered Big Homie and they will tell you: ‘Don’t join a gang.’ The person that I’m under, she would tell you, ‘Don’t join a gang.’ It’s not about violence. It’s just like — it doesn’t make your money… I rep it, because I been repping it for such a long time…”
Her burgeoning music career had her steering clear of the topic, too: “People always be like, ‘Oh, Cardi never used to rep it when she wasn’t making music.’ Yeah, because I already got signed. I can do that now. I’m smarter than what people think. There’s so many things that I limited myself because I wanted a million-dollar contract. When I do interviews, I don’t talk about it, because I will lose my endorsements. But since the cat is out of the bag, that’s how I feel. Why? For what? Why would you join a gang?”