The Bronx bombshell dazzles in a crystal wig on the cover, while donning a Swarovski crystal veil and Paco Rabanne hood in other images from the stunning Steven Klein shoot.
In the interview, the 27-year-old rapper opens up about her highly-anticipated sophomore album, which she likens to Beyoncé’s Lemonade for its feminist and social justice mantras.
“My music is always going to make a woman feel like a bad bitch. When you make a woman feel like she’s the baddest bitch in the room, to me, that’s female empowerment,” she said. “But this album is going to be really different. Of course, it’s going to have my Lemonade moments, my personal relationship moments.”
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Time to party with Cardi. Introducing our September 2020 cover star, Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar aka the inimitable @iamcardib. Chances are you’ve heard (blasted, replayed, and then played again) #WAP, her hit new single with the @theestallion about, ahem, 💦😜. Or maybe you’ve caught her championing Medicare-for-all with @berniesanders in a nail salon. Now, in conversation with @marjon_carlos, the self-described “regular, degular, schmegular girl from the Bronx” opens up about her new music, marriage to #Offset, and why she wishes more male rappers were demanding justice for #BreonnaTaylor. See link in bio for full interview. ELLE September 2020: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Creative Director: Stephen Gan Cover star: @iamcardib Written by: @marjon_carlos Photographer: @stevenkleinstudio Stylist: @kollincarter Fashion Director: @alexwhiteedits Hair: @tokyostylez Makeup: @erika_lapearl_mua Nails: @nailson7th
Other tracks will explore love and her relationship with Offset. “I don’t really like talking about love much, but I feel like I have to do it, just because I want people to know a little bit,” she said. “There’s always rumors about me and my husband, and I feel like people would rather start rumors because they want me to be heartbroken. They want me to be hurt.”
Her marriage to Offset has been fodder for many headlines. “I do know that my relationship has a lot of drama and everything. But there’s a lot of love there’s a lot of passion, there’s a lot of trust, there’s a big friendship. It’s always us against the world.”
She plans to let fans in on her relationship through her music, which will include a track with her husband. “If you all are so curious to know about my relationship and blah, blah, blah, I’m going to put it in the fu**in’ music, and you can buy it, too,” added Cardi. “I’m not going to give it to you all for free.”
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@iamcardib will tell you who she’s voting for, how rich she is, and bleach her body hair on camera, but there’s one topic she shies away from: “I don’t really like talking about love much,” she tells @marjon_carlos. “There’s always rumors about me and my husband, and I feel like people would rather start rumors because they want me to be heartbroken,” she says. “If you all are so curious to know about my relationship and blah, blah, blah, I’m going to put it in the f*ckin’ music, and you can buy it, too. I’m not going to give it to you all for free.” Link in bio for the full #Offset and #Cardi update. ELLE September 2020: Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia Creative Director: Stephen Gan Cover star: @iamcardib Written by: @marjon_carlos Photographer: @stevenkleinstudio Stylist: @kollincarter Fashion Director: @alexwhiteedits Hair: @tokyostylez Makeup: @erika_lapearl_mua Nails: @nailson7th
Elsewhere in the interview, Cardi opened up about the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black EMT who was fatally shot eight times in her home by Louisville police. “That is so insane to me. [I saw] Breonna Taylor’s name everywhere, but I didn’t really know her story,” said Cardi. “What they did to her is really fu**ed up. Really fu**ed up.”
Five months since her death, there have been no arrests or charges. “What’s the excuse? Why is the cop not in jail? Wasn’t what he did a crime? It’s a crime! And no apology. No apology. No video of the cop coming out crying, ‘I fu**ed up. I don’t this. I don’t that.’ Nothing. It’s nothing. I don’t even know how her mom still holds her head up. Unbelievable.”
Cardi wishes more male rappers would use their platforms to demand justice for Taylor. “A woman like Breonna Taylor, she was young. She looked like she was listening to your music. She looked like she was your fan. You should stick up for her,” she added.
She also discussed cancel culture and how it’s impacted her. “It’s like I have a target on my back, but it’s not because of my music. Because I haven’t done music for eight months, and people still try to attack me,” she said.
But she’s not going anywhere. “I don’t give a f**k if people make up lies about me every single day. I want to make it really clear that nobody can ever make me quit.”