There’s no strict definition of “making it” in the world of entertainment, but getting your own cover seems like a pretty good start; if so, Love &Hip Hop star Cardi B is well on her way. She is the first cover star for the Fader’s forthcoming Summer Music Issue, on the heels of her appearance alongside Remy Ma, Lil Kim, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Lady of Rage at New York’s 2017 Summer Jam, and recent nominations for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female Hip-Hop Artist” at the upcoming BET Awards. The feature is also the first official confirmation of her signing with Atlantic Records — which is only step one on the road to becoming a star.
Cardi, born Belcalis Almanzar, is a product of The Bronx, spent some time as a stripper in New York’s various clubs, and gained Internet fame for her video posts on Instagram and Vine showcasing her boisterous personality and unfiltered, often controversial views. Considered the breakout star of season 7 of the reality serious Love & Hip-Hop, she has become an internet sensation for her “hoe fashion” sense, her willingness to address haters in long-winded, video clapbacks that often feature nuggets of wisdom, and for her forceful, gritty raps on mixtapes Gangsta B*tch Music, Vol. 1 & 2.
In the story, Cardi B discusses her self-made reinvention, from stripper to reality star to legitimate, signed recording artist, and reveals her feelings about her recent signing with Atlantic Records, as well as her defunct relationship with Migos’ Offset. She also reveals the keys to her success: “You gotta follow the trends, it is what it is. At the end of the day, you need to be with what sells.” She addresses her newfound focus on her artistry: “To be more of an artist, I gotta be more censored because my personality just overshadows everything.” And, she addresse her propensity for Instagram reactions to negative comments: “Am I ever gonna grow thick skin? No. I just gotta focus on making money. Cause ain’t no going back. I’m gonna be famous forever.”
Congrats to Cardi on the big signing, but remember: This is just the start. There’s plenty of hard work to be done before she can say she’s officially made it, but it looks like she’s got the right mentality to make it happen.
The print edition hits newsstands July 25, and can be pre-ordered here. If you’re catching up on Cardi B, watch the “Pull Up” video below.