Cardi B, 29, and Offset, 30 are on the cover of Essence for the first time with all of their children including 7 month old Wave.
According to Essence Cardi requested that all of the children be featured on the cover, including her step children.
Offset is father to three older children from previous relationships: daughter Kalea, 7, and sons Jordan, 12, and Kody, also 7.
During a Zoom call Cardi spoke to the editorial and creative team, about the possibility of including her stepchildren in the photoshoot.
While she didnt want to disturb the relationships she has with the other mothers of Offset’s children, more than anything, she didnt want any of his kids to feel left out.
“After we got married, that’s when I first met his kids,” Cardi says during our sit-down interview. “I always wanted them to love me, and they really do. They tell me that. I feel it, and
I hope that we always have a great relationship.”
Cardi and Offset knew about the realities of blending families long before they had to navigate those waters themselves. “I have two brothers, and we have three different dads,” Offset says. “I never heard of a half-brother—those are my brothers.”
While Cardi and her sister Hennessy have the same mother and father, she has an additional six siblings from her father’s previous relationship.
That family dynamic shaped Cardi’s desire for all of Offset’s kids to forge a close bond. The graciousness of that attitude isn’t lost on the father of five.
“It’s a blessing to be able to have them all together, and to have a wife who’s open and treats them as if they’re her kids,” he says. “It could be an issue, but I don’t have to go through that, and that’s beautiful.”
About how they met
Cardi (née Belcalis Almánzar) and Offset (née Kiari Cephus) met for the first time in January of 2017.
After sliding into the DMs of one of Cardi’s friends to let her know he was interested in the budding rapper, Offset invited Cardi to a “Bad and Boujee” dinner he was hosting, to celebrate his rap group’s Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single of the same name.
“When my friend told me that he was trying to holler at me, I was like, ‘I’m not trying to deal with no industry rappers, because I already know what type of time they’re on,” Cardi candidly admits. “I was scared. I’m a relationship girl.”
Though she accepted the dinner invitation and even gave Offset her number after he piqued her interest, she was a bit more hesitant about agreeing to go on a first date—to Super Bowl LI, no less.
Cardi, who at the time was four months away from dropping her career-defining debut-album single “Bodak Yellow,” was trying to protect not just her heart but her image.
Before agreeing to the extravagant date, she had the friend Offset had previously messaged talk to him about her concerns. “I said, ‘I don’t want to be seen in public with a rapper if he’s not serious about me,’” Cardi explains.
“It would be embarrassing to go on a date with a guy, and my career is just starting off, and then the next day he’s not into me anymore. I would’ve been crushed.”
While Cardi was worried about public opinion, Offset was focused on making a good impression. “I was thinking, Let me go big, man,” he says of securing prime time seats for one of the biggest sporting events.
“It was a vibe.”
Fortunately, the good vibes continued as the pair got to know each other better—though Cardi notes, “The smooth sailing wasn’t that smooth in the beginning.”
“I had a little luggage,” Offset admits before Cardi jumps in. “And I had to unpack it,” she says.
On September 20, 2017, Offset and Cardi made the relationship official when they got married in the bedroom of his Atlanta home, on what was something of a dare.
“We were making out and he was like, ‘You’re going to have my baby one day,’ and I was like, ‘We ain’t having no baby. You have to marry me,’ and he was like, ‘Alright, let’s get married,’” Cardi recalls.
About Internet Bullies And Their Children
Cardi and Offset are balancing work responsibilities with another little one in the home: Wave was born on September 4, 2021.
This time around, it isn’t just industry pressure they’re up against.
It’s Internet bullies—like those who recently led Cardi to make Kulture’s Instagram page, which has more than 2 million followers, private.
“We went through a lot of sad things when it comes to Kulture—terrible behavior that not even the older kids have ever been through,” Cardi reveals.
“So many people will post mean, disgusting things, just to get a reaction from us.” It was for that reason the couple waited to show Wave to the world. Cardi admits: “We want to protect our feelings, because we get very, very angry and upset.”
Their love for each other and their family is what has sustained their marriage. “We just became closer,” Cardi says of how they’ve weathered storms over the past five years.
“We understand each other more now. To me, it’s serious, locked in for life—partnership sh-t, best friend sh-t. Sometimes it’s like, okay, he’s my husband, but he’s really my best friend. We pick each other up when we’re down.
I feel like nobody has my back like him—and he knows I got his back all the way, no matter what, and nothing could come in between that.”
“It’s a safe house,” Offset sums up. That security is magnified by being part of a large family. During summer and Christmas holidays, the kids are with him and his wife under one roof. Cardi describes their time together as “lit,” saying, “When they leave, it is like a big sadness.”
Reflecting on the beauty of her blended family, she adds, “I feel like sometimes people go into a relationship with a man or a woman who has kids with negativity—and I feel like people should embrace it, and love it. I love our family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Read the entire editorial here.