The rapper responsible for last year’s most unexpected hit emerged from a singular New York City story of strip clubs, gangs, and below-board basement butt injections. Navigating new fame and a new record, Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B is fighting to stay true to her Bronx roots while the world clamors for her to become a global superstar.
“I love…,” begins Cardi B—pink, glistening ribs in hand; slick, brick-colored barbecue sauce clotting under Swarovski-crystal manicure—and then hangs in silent pause. She does this a lot: stops like a cliff diver savoring the charged seconds before a jump. Her speech is hyper-fast but full of built-in extra time for you to catch up. For her to ensure you’re paying attention.
With the aid of cutting-edge Millennium science, in the form of orbicular breast implants and illegal buttocks injections, America’s sudden favorite rapper, Cardi B, has built her body for optimal viewing at medium-to-long-distance range. This engineering foresight helps explain why, before she began making music history (a randomly chosen milestone from her tennis bracelet of success: she is the first rapper to have her first three Billboard Hot 100 entries in the Top 10 simultaneously), she was not just a successful stripper but a wildly successful one. The hills and slopes of her body are so captivating that you might not even notice the delicate beauty of her countenance until it’s staring at you head-on from across a dimly lit restaurant booth while you wait to discover what it is that Cardi loves.
Tonight her hair, lately blonde, has been teased into a kind of spun-sugar bouffant: Cardi B as Jackie O. She is tiny enough that she can wear a long black tank top as a dress in a public restaurant, but for modesty’s sake she has added a rosebud pink sweatshirt over it. In big black letters, the sweatshirt says: ᴅᴇsɪɢɴᴇʀ ᴘᴜssʏ. Cardi finishes her sentence.
“…Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” She nods, agreeing with herself. “Yes.”
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