Rapper Cardi B was riding high over the weekend as the first female artist to headline Rolling Loud, one of hip-hop’s music festivals. Then, her husband Offset, of the superstar rap group Migos, stole her moment.
Earlier this month, the rap phenomenon announced her split from Offset in a now-removed Instagram post. According to Rolling Stone, Cardi confirmed that the breakup was a mutual decision. If true, Offset has had a change of heart. Since the announcement, he’s made it known publicly that he wants to reconcile with his wife. It came to a head on Saturday night at Rolling Loud when Offset crashed her set with an in-person apology and a stage display that read “Take me back Cardi.” By Sunday morning, stories were everywhere with opinions flying across social media.
We’ve been together 11 years, with seven of them as a married couple. We also have nearly two decades of public relations experience combined. As we discussed this piece of pop culture news over brunch, we touched on the marriage point-of-view as well as the PR perspective. Here’s an excerpt.
Cardi B & Offset, from the married perspective
Kallan: I do believe that you should be fighting for your marriage. I commend Offset for that. The reason [for the split] is not 100 percent confirmed, but when you make your marriage vows, it’s supposed to be til death do you part, for better or for worse. It seems like he’s trying to fix that. But, there are definitely some boundaries that you need to be careful of, especially as a black man in the public eye and how some of those things may be perceived.
Katrina: When I first saw Cardi’s post saying they weren’t together and then Offset’s apology video, my first reaction was that I hope they do work it out because marriage has its ups and downs. But the Rolling Loud incident was concerning. I shared relationship expert Demetria Lucas’ post where she compared the situation to an ex running up on you at your job. When Offset came on stage, [Cardi] looked taken off guard and then pissed off. Her history-making headline is going to be hijacked by the fact that he took it upon himself to use that as a platform to say “Take me back.”
Offset disrupting Cardi’s performance is like your ex running up on. you at your job in the middle of a meeting. This is not acceptable or cute. Or romantic. It’s creepy and unstable.
— Demetria L. Lucas (@demetriallucas) December 16, 2018
If behind the scenes you guys are also working it out, kudos. I think there is a time and a place to be public about your relationship. I would feel some type of way if a big moment like that for one of us was upstaged by what’s going on in our personal lives. I also think about if she wasn’t aware of him coming, and it turned into something dangerous, she could’ve been put into a situation that was allowed to happen. We’ve seen the stories about how some of these breakups turn violent.
Kallan: It could definitely be something considered dangerous, but it’s not really Rolling Loud’s place to make that decision.
There are other examples where there were Black celebrities who seemed to have some marriage troubles, and they were able to work it out more privately. In recent memory, I think about Carmelo and LaLa Anthony. Carmelo allegedly cheated and possibly had a child. They’ve been together for more than a decade and been very much in the spotlight. They were able to find a way (it seems) to work it out when everyone thought that it may be the end. You see signs of this in celebrity life pretty often, but they usually take more of a personal route to figure it out.
Katrina: [Carmelo and LaLa] have had a relationship that’s been in the spotlight a little longer, and they’re a little older than Cardi and Offset, so they’ve had time to learn from mistakes about being in the public eye. Do you think it’s a sense of maturity that comes along with it?
Kallan: I mean, of course. I think a lot of that has to do with the people you have around. Do they have people who can provide some insight to truly understand how relationships and partnerships work in the long run? They have a lot going on between their professional careers and personal lives. Not having some people who can help give you perspective on how those things might affect your marriage — or taking time out to work on your marriage — can be a really big strain.
Cardi B & Offset, from the PR perspective
Kallan: For Offset, it could potentially help him if it’s a publicity stunt. He’s playing the role of the bad guy. At the end of the day, if they’re able to work it out prior to the holidays, of course, it makes a great holiday story. Looking at Jay-Z and Beyonce, they were able to flip [their presumed marital issues] not only into an album but also into another world tour. Ultimately, if Offset is painting himself as the bad guy and then they come back together, then I see it as a good PR play.
Katrina: If we’re married, then that means we’re a unit, and my objective is securing the bag. Cardi doesn’t necessarily need the publicity, she’s everywhere. But, if Offset is trying to do more for his solo career, then this is a well-played strategic move from both of them. This has extended the amount of time that we’ve spent talking about them as a couple. I can see this spinning off into all kinds of opportunities, securing more for their family.
Check out Katrina talking more about it on WCCB’s New Edge TV show.
Kallan Louis is a writer and consultant for qcitymetro.com. He does a lot, but never feels like he’s doing enough. His life can be described as a Venn Diagram: News media, Black culture and sports. He’s always on TV, but rarely seen.
Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.