Cardi B and Vogue USA?
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The Hip-Hop starlet owns the cover of the fashion publication’s January edition with help from her baby Kulture and uses her time with the magazine to share her thoughts on her life as it is today, her legacy, motherhood and the new sounds she has been building for the next decade.
On her winning streak?
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.
She admits that she is keen for her second studio album to soar commercially because of this…and is working on an sharing a softer side of herself with the public.
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.
Why she resents claims that she was once a lady of the night.
I just hate when people be like, oh, you used to be a stripper, so you’re a prostitute, you used to sleep with guys. I never used to sleep with guys. The thing about it is, when you’re known as a stripper that sleeps with guys for money, everybody hates you because you’re messing up the game. You’re making guys expect more than what you should be giving, and the next bitch pays for it. I don’t have to give guys no ass. You want something from me? I want something from you. I want your money, you want my time. So I’m just gonna give you time. Once you start expecting more, my phone number’s disconnected. Bye.
On universal healthcare….
Why is this such a successful country and we don’t have Medicare for everyone? It’s like, how are people gonna work if they’re sick? People gonna be paying forever. And we don’t have freaking free schools? That discourages people to want to go to school if you gotta pay for it. Especially the way that social media makes it seems like everybody is the boss of something. Not everybody can be a boss. People gotta have certain jobs to keep things going. Let’s say I go to school for my job, and my school bill is more than I’m gonna be paid for. Then I’m not gonna want to do that job. So it’s like, who’s gonna do that job? It discourages people from wanting to learn.
She had this to say about her efforts to balance motherhood with a thriving career in music…
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.
The interview dropped shortly after she launched a tour of West Africa where she met with fans based in Ghana and Nigeria.
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz.