It should have been a triumphant moment to bring her stellar 2018 to a close. Cardi B was headlining Rolling Loud festival in Los Angeles on Saturday (December 15), one of her final live dates of 2018 capping 12 months of record breaking, award winning and world domination.
But after performing her Migos collaboration ‘MotorSport’, the Bronx boss’ personal life was uncomfortably forced centre stage, overshadowing anything else in the performance.
As the rapper was preparing to move onto her next track, three flight cases carrying a floral tribute spelling out “Take me back Cardi” were wheeled into view. Just behind them came her recently estranged husband Offset, hiding his face behind another bucket of flowers. “I just wanna tell you I’m sorry, bruh,” he told her as the crowd lit up with the glare of recording phones. “In person, in front of the world.”
Interrupting Cardi while she was at work is creepy at best, borderline harassment at worst. It took the focus off her during her own show, putting it on him instead, and was a prime example of a man thinking all it would take to excuse his wrongdoing (the pair split after months of reports of him cheating, which he has denied) would be a “grand, romantic” gesture. That he chose to crash the stage while she was in the process of becoming the first woman to ever headline Rolling Loud – an achievement that should have made for a celebratory night – only makes the whole thing even worse.
But Offset isn’t the only person who owes Cardi an apology. Someone gave him clearance to bring those flowers on site, wheel them on stage, and gave him a mic with which to steal her thunder. Rolling Loud have denied any prior knowledge of the act, with co-founder Tariq Cherif telling the Los Angeles Times the festival had been told all of Migos would be appearing as a special guest during the rapper’s set but had not been given any more details of what would unfold. “Cardi’s management was in on it, it had nothing to do with the festival,” he said. “The artist is in full control of the stage and they determine who gets on and off.”
Assuming that’s true, perhaps Cardi’s team to need to concentrate more on what’s good for their artist rather than exploiting a painful situation for column inches. Just because she’s chosen to share details about her relationship and its end on social media doesn’t mean it’s okay to subject her to emotional abuse in any setting, but especially not a very public one. Her announcing her split from Offset on Instagram is a way of her controlling the inevitable rumours and speculation that would flood the internet if she kept quiet. Allowing her ex to crash her performance because he feels entitled to is the opposite.
The fact she chose not to share her response to him with those present on Saturday night, talking to him sternly off mic, makes it painfully clear this wasn’t what she wanted. Whoever agreed to Offset’s plan needs to reassess their actions and, next time, let Cardi’s history-making achievements be the story, rather than the embarrassing behaviour of the men around her.