When Cardi B found out she was expecting now-infant daughter Kulture, it wasn’t in the rapper’s plans to become a mom. She admitted to W Magazine that she was worried that having a child would cause problems for her professional life—namely, that she wouldn’t be as sought after if she dropped off the map to raise her baby.
But as many other new moms have found, starting a family doesn’t mean you have to give up your own dreams. Like so many other stars, Cardi B stepped out on the red carpet shortly after her daughter’s arrival, and she even started performing shows within months. She did give up the opportunity to tour with Bruno Mars, she’s admitted, but that was partly because of wanting to stay home with her daughter, and partly because she wasn’t fully recovered physically from having given birth.
Still, now that Cardi is a mom, a lot has changed in her life. From her hush-hush marriage to Kulture’s dad, rapper Offset, to the pair’s recent split (plus his on-stage pleas to win her back), to traveling for work commitments, Cardi has a lot on her plate.
Of course, the paparazzi and pro photographers have been there to capture nearly every minute of it! Here are 20 pics of Cardi B since she became a mom in July of 2018.
20 The New Mom And Dad
While most fans are used to seeing Cardi B—real name Belcalis Almanzar—dressed to the nines for her performances and red carpet walks, this image shows a more down-to-earth new mama. The pic was snapped in July of 2018 when the mom and dad took their baby daughter to the doctor. Kulture Kiari Cephus was only a week old, and while fans hadn’t seen the little girl’s face yet, her parents weren’t shy about showing what they were up to. And unbeknownst to the world at the time, the proud parents were already married—they tied the knot at home in September and kept it on the down low until after Offset’s very public proposal the following month.
19 Fake Baby Fun
When Cardi arrived at the MTV Video Music Awards in August, everyone thought she’d brought baby Kulture along. Even the baby’s dad, Offset—real name Kiari, which is why that’s his girl’s middle name—believed Cardi was about to reveal their daughter to the world. But it was just a bundle of blankets—Cardi B clearly enjoyed not only tricking everyone in the audience, including her husband, but also debuting her new look. Look at that crop! Of course, the performer is also known for wearing wigs often, so it could be that this her finally showing off her “real” hair.
18 Full-On Fashion (And Claws)
When Cardi B attended the Fashion Week party in September of 2018, she had to jet to NYC for the event. But fans who already knew about Cardi B and Nicki Minaj’s beef had some expectations for this event—where both ladies were in attendance. And they weren’t disappointed in terms of drama—security for both the rappers, plus the NYPD, showed up after there were reports of an altercation. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but Cardi apparently threw a shoe, and she later posted on IG about what went down. She also said that Nicki made comments that dissed her parenting skills—a definite no-no when talking about a new mama.
17 Still Fashion-Forward
Although you might think that Cardi B would tone things down a bit fashion-wise now that she’s a mom, you’d be wrong! The above snap comes from Cardi’s entrance at the 2018 Milan Fashion Week. The rapper showed up in head-to-toe animal print and completely rocked the red carpet. Of course, she covered a lot more skin in this ensemble than she often does on stage, but that doesn’t mean the ‘fit was any less edgy than usual. And while she probably left baby Kulture at home for this one, she can clearly hold her own in terms of both motherhood and fashion.
16 Back To The Stage
Though Cardi B has since dropped out of the concert series she’d agreed to star in with Bruno Mars, she has still made some stage appearances since Kulture arrived. Cardi admitted that she had underestimated how much work—and recovery—childbirth and parenting required, explaining why she had decided not to continue with the potentially lucrative tour. But she did make an appearance at the Global Citizen concert in September, rocking out in a red outfit with plenty of tassels and plenty of attitude. And although she noted how important motherhood was to her in an interview with W Magazine, Cardi is still passionate about her work—and these photos are clearly evidence.
15 Baby-Free Birthday Bash
When Cardi B turned 26 in August, 2018, she went all-out with a fun-filled bash. And it was one that was baby-free, too, with Cardi and Offset both enjoying the festivities. Cardi didn’t disappoint with her bday style, either, as she was wearing a bright pink ensemble that definitely drew attention to her figure. She looked totally healthy, happy, and comfortable, even though she’s admitted that it’s hard for her to be away from Kulture. It likely helps that her grandmother is hands-on with the baby, helping her out, especially while Offset is away on tour. At this point, the new parents were still everyone’s favorite power couple.
14 New Baby, New Car
For Cardi B’s birthday in October, Offset added to the couple’s car collection by gifting his wife a Lamborghini truck. He kept the entire thing a surprise, even placing a giant red bow on top of the car, and Cardi came outside in her robe to pose for pics with the new ride. Her other Lamborghini, which is blue, matches Offset’s (which is green). After she received the gift, Cardi went on IG to report it to fans—including the part about Offset pranking her into thinking there was an emergency happening, his way of getting her there to see the car.
13 Before The Troubled Times
Cardi and Offset’s relationship has been anything but traditional—with her telling W Magazine that the pair had only spent about six consecutive days together before tying the knot in September. But since they’re both artists, that was to be expected, Cardi explained, and they were both on the road (and on stage) a lot. Of course, that was before they welcomed Kulture, and after the baby was born, Cardi said the pair planned to raise her in Atlanta, Georgia, where Offset’s primary residence is. It’s also where the couple kept their matching Lamborghinis, even though Cardi has never gotten her driver’s license!
12 Another Stage Set
Although Cardi has since pulled out of the tour with Bruno Mars, she did appear and perform in October at the American Music Awards. She took to the stage with J. Balvin where they performed the hit “I Like It,” complete with crazy costumes and interesting sets (for example, what’s with the shopping cart behind Cardi?!). Even though she’s had a baby and critics are likely zooming in with their microscopic lenses to find flaw in Cardi, she still rocked the show, proving that her work won’t somehow soften just because her heart has in terms of her new baby!
11 Pre-Show Red Carpet Walk
Before the AMAs, Cardi and Offset took to the red carpet, and if fans expected to see Cardi tone things down for that appearance, they were again let down. Cardi doesn’t do anything small—it’s really go big or don’t go at all, clearly. And while her shoes look really hard to walk in, Cardi strutted the carpet on Offset’s arm, and he seemed to have no problem letting her steal the show. Compared with Cardi’s loud floral dress and matching headpiece, Offset’s suit looks completely understated. And where was Kulture? No doubt at home with grandma, but mom and dad probably checked in—the pair have been known to FaceTime her from their events!
10 Cardi On Kimmel
Cardi B also made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel following the birth of her daughter. She debuted in the October episode wearing a blue suit and rocking a shorter hairstyle than we’re used to seeing. During the interview, Cardi shared some interesting info about Kulture’s birth and her early experiences in motherhood. She told Jimmy that her baby “broke” her, alluding to the fact that she had to get stitches down there and that it took longer than she expected to recover physically. She also told Jimmy that Kulture is “feisty” and “demanding” in terms of her personality. Still, she said she would do it all over again—and just might to have a few more kids!
9 Kulture In The Bling
With a reputation for being true to herself and decidedly outspoken, there’s not much Cardi won’t divulge when given the opportunity. So of course, she’s spoken about the impact her daughter has had on her life multiple times. Not only did she tell Jimmy Kimmel how much happiness Kulture has brought, but she also went so far as to order custom earrings with her little girl’s name in them. She debuted them in October of 2018, showing mamas all over that just because you have to go to work, it doesn’t mean you’re not thinking of your kiddo and doing your best to do right by them.
8 Star Of The Year
In October of 2018, Cardi B was named Star of the Year by People en Espanol, with the cover proclaiming how proud Cardi is to be a Latina rapper in the industry. In past interviews, even some of the journalists who spoke with Cardi talked about her accent and her speech patterns—part English, part Spanish, part Spanglish—and the star herself even explained how she often had to re-record her songs until they sounded just right to her. Clearly, even in a world full of fame and celebrity, Cardi still feels the need to please the people—and please them she has, if the title Star of the Year is any indication!
7 Mogul Mama Takes To The Mag
October was a busy month for Cardi, because in addition to all her red carpet and talk show appearances, she also posed for W Magazine and gave an interview spanning everything from her post-baby body to her relationship with Offset to her plans for the future. It’s not her first magazine spread by any means, but this one aimed to give fans a new perspective, the journalist wrote. While it’s tough to find PG-rated images of Cardi online, this shoot featured her wearing full-length dresses that covered the right parts but still gave attitude. Instead of snapping Cardi with one of her full wigs on or crazy eye makeup, the photographer requested gentle curls and more “natural” colors.
6 The Coat That Made Memes
She looks a bit stiff in this photo, sort of like a Barbie doll, and it’s understandable since a full-length boxy-shaped coat is anything but average attire for Cardi B. But not only did the star pose as the photographer requested (and in some shots with a Balenciaga bag) but she also poked fun at the dress on social media later. Someone made a meme out of Cardi, with the caption “Me walking out of Walmart with a brand new TV stuffed up my shirt.” Cardi shared the meme with laughing emojis and moved on—probably with her Balenciaga intact.
5 Toned-Down For W Mag
Another shot of Cardi features another somewhat stiff pose, but doesn’t involve Cardi sticking her tongue out or shaking what her mama gave her. These are the kinds of images the magazine wanted, but it seems like Cardi’s more than willing to put her stage persona aside for something that showcases her in a rosier light. After all, with the drama and fighting that came long after Kulture’s arrival, some people still speculate on her mothering skills, and though Cardi is the type of gal to take no nonsense from anyone, she clearly can’t help but feel a bit intimidated by the critics. After all, momming is no joke!
4 Daring To Drive
Cardi has told interviewers that she doesn’t have her driver’s license and never learned to drive. In fact, it’s part of what put a damper on her and Offset’s meetups, since she’d have to rely on his uncle or other people to drive her around when she came to his house in Atlanta. And while the new mama doesn’t need her own license or a car—though she does have a Lamborghini ready and waiting in the garage—it’s a nice feeling to be able to get yourself around independently. To that end, not only did Cardi sing for Carpool Karaoke, but she also test drove the car with James Corden—who was clearly not having a great time as Cardi drove over the cones on the test route.
3 Stopping In At The Senior Home
Cardi’s segment on Carpool Karaoke also featured her and James Corden stopping in at a senior center—among other exploits—to sing with the elderly folks. While most of them probably had no clue who Cardi B was, as her music isn’t exactly baby boomer or beyond material, the folks seemed to have a good time jamming with her. And James is totally in his element, as you can see from the image, so all in all, this episode was a fun and entertaining one. And, it definitely surpassed Offset’s appearance, which he shared with the other members of Migos, since Cardi is just so much fun.
2 Making Business Moves
While Cardi admitted that she passed on potential millions when she decided to drop out of the tour with Bruno, she’s still making money while staying close to home and her baby. She rolled out a line of clothing with Fashion Nova, which she’s been promoting via social media, including this image of her wearing some clothes from the line. She also shared an image of herself rocking jeans and a top from the collection on Twitter, explaining how she loves the line because every piece fits her like a glove. And judging by her super-short hairstyle in the casual pic, this was post-Kulture—showing that Cardi’s already back in the game when it comes to both her fashion and her fitness.
1 Post-Breakup Plea On Stage
By now it’s old news that Cardi and Offset have split—Cardi announced it on social media in early December. But apparently, Offset wasn’t quite ready to give up on their relationship. In fact, he was apparently still so devoted to the rapper that he showed up onstage at one of her shows with a plea to get her back. Floral arrangements spelled out “take me back Cardi,” and when Offset joined Cardi on stage, stagehands brought the arrangements out. But Cardi didn’t seem happy about it—she talked to Offset off-mic, and then he left the stage—the stagehands pushing the flowers off as well.