When you’re a fresh, trailblazing, hip-hop talent, the most sought-after face of a bevy of pop culture’s favorite nuances like magazine covers, TV talk shows and luxury fashion lines all while maintaining a platform as social media’s sweetheart, just keeping a single breath to yourself can prove to be a challenging feat.
Hiding a pregnancy would then be totally out of the question, but Bronx’s Instagram bombshell-turned-femcee-phenomenon Cardi B pulled it off. But her task didn’t come without its painstaking discipline and drastic measures, which she revealed in her newest Rolling Stone cover with her Migos rap star fiancé, Offset.
If you recall, Cardi took her first swing at privacy with a typical, comedy-sparking social media response after rumors of the pregnancy began gaining momentum from her visibly growing belly.
“I’m just getting fat,” she responded to a snoopy fan poking the question at her via Instagram. “Let me fat in peace.”
She’d finally prove the fan’s suspicions true in a surprise unveiling of her baby bump on the stage of Saturday Night Live in April, an unforgettable performance that finally broke Cardi from the intense chains of secrecy. She’d been locked in to them since first revealing to her fiancé that she was pregnant.
"He said, ‘What do you mean, what are you going to do?” she remembers of Offset’s response when she revealed the pregnancy and asked what their plans were. “’You're going to keep it.'"
Cardi’s close friends and team, however, had different sentiments about the unexpected pregnancy, warning her of what consequences it could yield.
"It was like, ‘You can't do this," she said. "'This might f**k up your career.'"
Eventually, folks over at her record label, Atlantic Records, were tipped off, but much to Cardi’s discontent since she wanted to be the one to reveal her pregnancy and discuss the action plan moving forward. At the time, she was still in album mode for her now-released debut project, Invasion of Privacy, and Atlantic suggested she stay away from New York to evade any distractions that might be brought on by family and friends.
Crunch time came when Cardi hit her second trimester, the story explains. She’d arrived to an L.A. studio so drowsy from pregnancy hormones one day that she couldn’t focus, and finally revealed to her engineer that she was with child. To keep her pregnancy from conflicting with her studio schedule and other obligations, she asked her creative team to travel with her so that she could record on the road. Cardi crashed in the studio from time to time, and other times she made sure to get in a good night’s rest to protect her health while pregnant. Atlantic Records’ CEO Craig Kallman remembers her diligence as the creative team accompanied her to major cities all across the country.
“I was blown away by her stamina," Kallman recalled for the interview, along with “her inner strength and her creative instincts.”
Only recently did Cardi decelerate the hip-hop star lifestyle when she announced that she’d be taking a much-needed, well-deserved break from live performances in the heart of summer’s high-demand festival season.
But don’t fret too long, Bardi Gang! The “I Like It” femcee will return for one of her most highly anticipated excursions when she returns to the stage beside Bruno Mars for his 24K Magic Tour.
If nothing else, that Cardi B is a determined work force not to be reckoned with.
Read Rolling Stone’s full Cardi B and Offset: A Hip-Hop Love Story feature here and see some of the striking shots from their collaborative photo shoot for the piece below.
I guess it was too much to ask to wait until the official July release of our @rollingstone cover! This cover is so special to me and means so much! Thank you to everyone who helped put this amazing cover together! Even tho it was leaked and suppose to be In gray fuck it 🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️My daughter made it to the Rollin Stone cover !!!! Official release in July.You can’t ruined what’s for me ❤️❤️❤️❤️ROCKSTARS @offsetyrn
(Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella)