By Michael Arceneaux
February has been a struggle for those of us who typically look for a reprieve from life’s stresses during Black History Month, but I have taken real comfort in seeing Belcalis Almánzar have such a good time.
Cardi B may have taken a stand and declined an invitation to perform during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, but her presence was felt all the same in the widely-lauded Pepsi commercial that aired during the telecast. More recently, the Bronx-bred emcee made history as the first female solo rapper to win Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. (I think she was robbed in the Record of the Year category, but, for argument’s sake, I will accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.) And on Friday, she released her latest single, “Please Me” featuring Bruno Mars, which quickly shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top 100 chart. You can’t see me, but I am body rolling to it as I write with no clear indication of if/when I’ll stop.
If you’re a fan of Cardi B, you, too, are elated for her continuing successes. But there is another life event that has some of her fans less than thrilled.
In January, Cardi acknowledged that she and her estranged husband Offset are “working things out” — only a month after she announced the two had “grew out of love.” Yes, all I can hear right now is Offset’s “Y’ALL WON” tweet. But apparently “y’all” have not — because Offset joined her onstage during the Grammys telecast as she accepted her award for Invasion of Privacy. Then on Valentine’s Day, Cardi was seen on Instagram flashing her engagement ring. There’s also been a noticeable uptick on her accounts of images of her now-saved marriage, which is just as noticeably pissing off quite a few of her fans smooth off.
Her fans, as you can see in the comments of these tweets, have treated her to a sea of shade: “offcheat always ruins everything,” “Offset in the background made me uncomfortable, but the music is good,” “Hello 911, I’d like to report Offset for ruining this video and making me feel uncomfortable,” or “please drop him, ma.”
It goes on.
A friend of mine recently told me, “a true stan reads their faves.” But while criticism can often be borne of love and good intentions, there is something to be said about knowing when to let folks make their choices and keep their opinions to themselves — or at least not directly under their social media posts.
For starters, consider who we’re talking about. Now, I love me some Cardi B, but we know she likes to take a swim in the lake of fire I call the comments section and start verbally brawling with her detractors. Ask yourself: Do you want to get cursed out by Cardi B over her personal choices? Better yet, first ask yourself: Are you really surprised Cardi took Offset back?
Offset and Cardi B on the red carpet at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Don’t we all have that friend that complains about their man only to go back to that person? How many of us have been or are still that person? It can be painful to be humiliated — notably if you are in the public eye — but folks will also dig in deeper if you push them.
This recalls the time we found out Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé. Many of us gave Jay-Z the blues and Beyoncé responded with another joint tour and duets album. Some fans literally pleaded with the King to stop bringing her husband around and she’s still bringing him everywhere. Still not at peace with Jay-Z cheating on my Lord and Gyrator, I asked Beyoncé to instead leave him at home for On the Run II. But guess what happened when she announced the tour? I went.
If y’all keep harassing Cardi B, it’s plausible she will keep throwing her relationship in our faces. (While I enjoy Offset as a rapper, I don’t want a duets album from Mr. and Mrs. Cephus.) And I know reason is not the rage on the internet, but one reality to consider is that maybe no one should be so invested in anyone else’s choices — much less those of a stranger. A friend in your head is just that, beloveds.
Bottom line, Cardi B appeared very down when speaking about the potential end of her marriage — and looks very, very happy now to be on the other side of that. Keep your opinions to yourself, or at the very least, stop sending her direct disapproval. Maybe it’s the Southerner in me, but have some manners. And if you can’t, turn “Please Me” back on and just scroll by.
If he messes up again, she’ll make her own choice — for herself and her family. You can go back to dragging him then, I guess. In the meanwhile, let her have her happiness. Let her live.