Cardi is decidedly un-puritanical when it comes to her body, and she prattles as matter-of-factly about her digestion as she does about the mosquitos that went to war on her legs in Dubai a couple of days ago (“17 million of them motherfuckers”), the freedom of having her natural hair out today (“I swear it felt like there was a roach up in there”), and the imperceptible pooch she intends to remedy by erecting a stripper pole in her living room (“Yo, I’m telling you, when I was dancing I used to have a six-pack, yo”). But when it comes to the mechanics of existing, and thriving, as a human being, she’s unashamed, unpolished, unapologetic — a stream-of-consciousness genius.
The next day, at a style fitting for this story, she peels off a pair of leggings and bares her vagina to a room of strangers. That quality is what has landed Cardi precisely here: jetlagged in an Uber BLACK, with a sleeveless, knee-length black-and-white fur on her body and a pair of fur-lined Gucci mules on her feet.
It’s sheet day for the family, which at a laundromat in Washington Heights could run as much as . “Fucking Dominicans,” she grumbles jokingly each time a relative Face Times to ask for a small favor. She’s rented this apartment for a couple of years, but when she’s not out on the road, she prefers to spend the night in her grandmother’s apartment in the Heights, where as many as eight people live.
“I live in a beautiful condo, it’s very big, it’s very beautiful, but it’s so empty and boring.
Back in the car, her mom had called urging her to buy a cheetah-print couch.
In less than two years, Cardi has reinvented herself from popping-as-hell New York stripper and Instagram microcelebrity, to reality TV star, to Atlantic Records-signed rapper with two mixtapes under her belt and a single, “Lick” featuring Offset, that’s rattling from car speakers across New York City.
Cardi is not the first person to translate social media fame into a lucrative career, but I challenge you to name anyone who’s leveled up as much, and as quickly.
When her label publicist asks where she’ll put it, Cardi just shrugs it off, as though the act of buying the sofa were more important than actually having it.
In the apartment, for which she pays ,000 a month, there’s a large, open-plan area for living, dining, and cooking, plus three rooms and two bathrooms.