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A Look Back at Cardi B & Offset’s Controversial Relationship

Culture

| LAST UPDATE 11/14/2022

By Kenzie Rose

Cardi B and Offset have had a rollercoaster of a relationship. But despite the cheating rumors and recent Messy controversy, "it's always us against the world," Bardi assured. Here's a closer look at their time together.

Getting Started

Before finding herself in one of the most high-profile relationships in hip-hop, Cardi B grew up in the South Bronx. Born as Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, the outspoken rapper credits her grandmother for her thick accent.

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Rob Kim/Contributor via Getty Images

She attended Renaissance High School for Musical Theater & Technology and took classes at community college before dropping out. Eventually, she started dropping videos on Vine and Instagram, carving an online presence for herself. A star was, no doubt, in the making.

From Reality Star to Rap Queen

Fast forward to 2015, and Cardi B debuted in the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York. Instantly, she became a breakout star. And Cardi wasted no time making a name for herself. She soon linked up with Shaggy for his latest song, released a music video, and later dropped a mixtape.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

As for her time on TV? She stayed on Love & Hip Hop for two seasons before parting ways to try and pursue her music career. She appeared in Khloe Kardashian's Kocktails with KhloeUncommon Sense with Charlamagne, and was cast as Mercedes in the BET series Being Mary Jane. But this was just the beginning.

Versace, Versace

Offset, on the other hand, was also busy making waves. In 2013, "Versace, Versace" were the only words coming out of everyone's mouths: Migos had just dropped its debut single, and it skyrocketed the three rappers to fame. Offset, Quavo, and the late Takeoff all grew up together in Georgia, before forming the rap group in 2008.

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Bennett Raglin/BET/Contributor via Getty Images

Today, their songs are being played on radios everywhere. But before he was a rap star, Offset, born Kiari Kendrell Cephus, was a dancer. He even appeared in a Whitney Houston music video when he was only nine. He was destined for a life on the stage, it seemed.

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How It Began

Before there were designer bags or luxury whips, Offset and Cardi B were both at the beginning of their careers. Neither Cardi nor Offset remember exactly where or when they met. But apparently, it was at an "industry event" in 2016. Wherever they met, they obviously impressed each other.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

"He was very consistent. He really wanted to talk to me," Cardi recalled about the first time they crossed paths. Even if the rest of the details are a bit fuzzy, everything else that came after was quite clear: Cardi and Offset had intense chemistry - and the rest of the world was in for a wild ride.

Just Friends?

Offset and Cardi made their first public appearance together in the song Lick. Featured on Bardi's mixtape, it was released in late January 2017. Despite the racy lyrics, the duo insisted there was nothing between them: They were strictly professional, or so they said.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

But in only a few months, both of their lives would drastically change. Cardi was still a year away from releasing Bodak Yellow, which would catapult her into stardom. Offset and his rap group, Migos, were only months away from releasing Bad and Boujee. But these two were busy making headlines all on their own...

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A Super Date

The New England Patriots were facing off against the Atlanta Falcons in Houston, Texas, for Super Bowl LI. Pop icon Lady Gaga was the halftime show, and country singer Luke Bryan kicked things off with the national anthem. But none of that was the biggest news to come out of the big game.

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Shareif Ziyadat/Contributor via Getty Images

This marked the first public appearance the couple made together. Offset later recalled their first date on The Tonight Show, "My first date, I went big. I wanted to do something that was not normally done, you know what I'm saying?" He certainly went big instead of going home. 

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Things Began Heating Up

About a week later, Cardi posted an Instagram clip that seemed to confirm her new status as taken. It was a video of her saying "babe" regarding Offset. While the footage has been taken down, it looked like it was from their Super Bowl date. What was going on here?

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff via Getty Images

The couple had still not said anything about their relationship status. If anything, they were still doubling down on the fact that they were not together, especially Cardi. She noted in an interview with Fader, "It's been a blessing, me meeting him and meeting his friends," mentioning nothing romantic.

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No Further Comment

Both rappers kept denying that they were dating in interviews. When Fader asked Cardi about dating someone from Atlanta, she responded with, "I'm not saying I'm dating an Atlanta guy," and then refused to comment if she was in a relationship with the Bad and Boujee rapper.

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Michael Tran/Stringer via Getty Images

But Cardi was not the only one who was deflecting questions and rumors. In an interview with his fellow Migos members, Offset refused to speak when asked about Cardi. The rest of the group laughed, but the only thing that Offset offered up was a subtle smile.

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Not-So-Subtle Gestures

At this point, Cardi and Offset had still not confirmed that they were a couple. But they were not letting that minor detail stop them from spending time together and having fun. In May 2017, the duo was spotted at a Met Gala after party together at 1 Oak nightclub.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

They were also seen cozying up backstage at a Meek Mill concert. Cardi was sporting a personalized chain that Offset had gifted her, supposedly worth $60,000. Yet, despite all of this, she insisted that she was single and not dating anyone. They even attended the BET awards separately. Who knew what to believe at this point?

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A Powerhouse Proposal

Fast forward to October, and everything became clear: Cardi and Offset were on stage together, performing for a sold-out stadium in Philadelphia at the Power 99's Powerhouse. Cardi was talking into the mic when suddenly Offset tapped her on the shoulder. But when she turned around, she was left speechless.

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@quavohuncho via Instagram

Her man was down on one knee, popping the question. She jumped, unable to believe what was happening. As the crowd began to cheer, Offset placed the 20-carat diamond ring on her finger, which cost an estimated $500,000. There was no more denying: Cardi B and Offset were officially together.

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The Rumors Start Swirling

Sadly, the happy moment for the couple did not last long. A few months later, cheating rumors began to surface. There were reports that Offset cheated on Cardi with another woman, a model named Celine Powell. She also claimed that she was pregnant with Offset's baby.

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Andrew Toth/Stringer via Getty Images

In usual Cardi fashion, she was very direct when addressing the rumors surrounding her man. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, the rapper said, "Everybody is coming down my neck like, 'Why are you not leaving him? You have low self-esteem.' I don't have low self-esteem. I know I look good. I know I'm rich, I know I'm talented." 

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Be Careful With Me

By March 2018, Cardi released the third single to what would become her ground-breaking album, Invasion of Privacy. The track had an unmistakable message to her beau, do not mess with her. In Be Careful With Me, Cardi sang about her tumultuous relationship with Offset.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

She began the song by saying she wants to get married "like the Currys, Steph and Ayesha." She then went after him for stuttering after "certain questions" and keeping in touch with some of his exes. In the chorus, she warned, "Be careful with me/Yeah, it's not a threat, it's a warnin.'" But there were more revelations on the way...

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A Saturday Night Announcement

Live from New York. It's Saturday night, and Cardi B had a big announcement for the world. After months of denying she was pregnant, she strutted onto stage in a striking white gown by designer Christian Siriano. She sang her hit song Be Careful With Me with the camera on her face. 

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Cardi B via YouTube

Eventually, the camera pulled away and revealed an undeniable baby bump. Keep in mind - only a few weeks before the show, Cardi deflected rumors by saying, "No b****, I'm just getting fat. Let me be fat in peace." Now? There was no more keeping things quiet: Cardi and Offset were going to be parents.

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A New Kind of Kulture

After announcing her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live, the couple prepared to be parents. Cardi and Offset appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in an intimate maternity photoshoot, and the magazine wrote a feature on the couple. Later, they hosted a baby show the only way they knew how - entirely over the top.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

The baby shower theme was Bardi Shower: A Bronx Fairytale. The event was decorated in pink and white to celebrate the upcoming arrival of their baby girl. Then, on July 10, 2018, Cardi B gave birth to a healthy baby girl, named Kulture Kiari Cephus.

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The Secret Wedding

Cardi broke the news that she and Offset had tied the knot in September 2017. She posted a #TBT photo on her Instagram of herself and Offset in tracksuits getting married to each other. It was the first time that the rapper shared pictures from the never-before-seen wedding.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

So, when Offset proposed on the Power 99 stage, they had already been married. The Bodak Yellow rapper shared why she kept it secret on her Twitter, "There are so many moments that I share with the world, and then there are moments that I want to keep for myself! Getting married was one of those moments!" 

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The Breakup

However, things took a turn for the worse. In December 2018, Cardi and Offset announced that they had separated. In a now-deleted Instagram video, she shared with fans, "It's just like, I guess we just grew out of love, but we're not together anymore."

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@iamcardib via Instagram

Cardi continued, "It might take time to get a divorce, and I'm going to always have a lot of love for him because he is my daughter's father." Offset also took to the 'gram to express how he was feeling. He wrote that he was a "selfish, messed up husband."

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The Make Up

Offset continued sharing how he felt on social media. He posted that he missed Cardi on Twitter, and the day after his birthday, he said in a video, "I only have one birthday wish, and that's to get my wife back." He was not going to stop trying to get his woman back.

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Scott Dudelson/Contributor via Getty Images

Sure enough, Offset pulled up to Rolling Loud, which Cardi was headlining. He arrived with a floral arrangement that said, "TAKE ME BACK, CARDI." Later, the couple was spotted in Puerto Rico together. Was hip-hop's couple back together? Yes, they were! Offset even got Cardi's name tattooed on his neck.

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A Big Thank You

After reconciling, Cardi and Offset began attending events together again. They went to the Grammy Awards together, where she made history by becoming the first solo female artist to win Best Rap Album for Invasion of Privacy. Offset was there to support her the entire time.

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Steve Granitz/Contributor via Getty Images

Cardi said in her acceptance speech, "You, husband, thank you. Nah, serious, because he was like, 'You gonna do this album, girl. We gonna have this baby. We gonna make this album.'" The winning streak continued for the Bronx native. They later attended the Billboard Music Awards together, where she won six awards.

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Father of 4

By 2019, Offset released his debut solo album. The title was directly related to him being a proud father. In addition to his baby girl, Kulture, with Cardi, the rapper welcomed three children from previous relationships. The oldest was a boy named Jordan, who the Atlanta rapper had when he was only 17.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

Offset had his second son, Kody, with his girlfriend at the time. Then, there was Kalea Marie Cephus, who he had with rapper Shya L'Amour. Offset shared with Essence, "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." 

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“Love You 4ever and After Life”

Things were on the up and up for the happy couple. On September 10, 2019, they celebrated two years of marriage together. Cardi shared a photo of her and Offset backstage and wrote the caption. "Happy marriage anniversary hubby. We keep learning and growing. That's what marriage about."

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Kevin Mazur/Contributor via Getty Images

Cardi was not the only one to get caught up in her feeling on this special day. Offset also took to social media to share how special his wife is to him. The Versace rapper dropped a video montage set to his song Don't Lose Me, which was about winning Cardi back. He wrote to his wife, "I love you 4ever and after life."

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Drama & Passion

In an interview with ELLE, Cardi spilled the tea on her relationship with Offset. She shaded, "I do know that my relationship has a lot of drama and everything. But there's a lot of love, there's a lot of passion, there's a lot of trust, there's a big friendship."

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@iamcardib via Instagram

Despite everything, Cardi and Offset always seemed to find their way back to each other. She continued, "It's always us against the world." Later in the interview, she joked that if people want to know more about their relationship, they will have to buy her music. We're buying!

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Cardi Files for Divorce

Despite buying a house together, releasing a song and even being nominated for a Grammy Award for it, Cardi finally had enough. She filed for divorce from her husband, Offset, in an Atlanta courthouse just five days before their third anniversary.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

Rumors began circling as to why Cardi was asking for a divorce. People reported that infidelity was to blame, but Cardi explained it was because she was sick of arguing and "not seeing things eye to eye." In the court documents, she asked the court to give her primary custody of their daughter. 

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Back Together?

Cardi filed for divorce, but what came after was filled with mixed messages. Offset bought a billboard for Cardi's birthday that said, "Happy birthday mommy, love Kulture." She posted a photo of the billboard on her Insta with the caption, "Thank sir, I love it." Wonder who that "sir" could be?

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fupp/Bauer-Griffin/Contributor via Getty Images

The Migos rapper also gifted Cardi a Rolls Royce, complete with a custom car seat for Kulture. The couple was also seen partying, dancing, and kissing in Las Vegas for Cardi's 28th birthday celebration. They still had not stated they were back together, but things were getting steamy for this will-they-won't-they duo.

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It's Complicated

After speculation of Cardi and Offset being back together and months of lavish gift-giving, the divorce was officially called off. Two months after filing for divorce, Cardi filed papers to dismiss the previous motion, according to TMZ. This rapping couple was back together... again. 

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@iamcardib via Instagram

In an Instagram Live, Cardi B talked about her relationship with her husband. She mentioned that one day she is happy, and the next day things are different. She opened up, saying, "It's hard not to talk to your best friend." Sure enough, their divorce case was dismissed without prejudice.

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Baby #2 on the Way

But by the time the 2021 BET Awards came rolling in, we were met with another surprise: Migos was performing at the 2021 awards show, when suddenly Cardi joined the group on stage - sporting a Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit… and a not-so-subtle baby bump.

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Bennett Raglin/Stringer via Getty Images

She continued to perform in full force as she showed off her developing baby bump. After the performance, Cardi shared a pregnancy photoshoot on her Twitter, tagging her hubby, Offset, in the photo. The caption was super simple: "#2!" along with a heart emoji.

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Making Waves

On September 4, 2021, the couple welcomed their second child together. He was a healthy baby boy. They named him Wave Set Cephus, although they did not announce his name until months after his birth. Cardi shared the wonderful news on her Instagram.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

She posted a photo of her and Offset with their new baby boy in the hospital. Later, Cardi said in a statement to People, "We are so overjoyed to finally meet our son. He is already loved so much by family and friends, and we can't wait to introduce him to his other siblings." Kulture was now going to be a big sister! 

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Inked Forever

Whenever Offset and Cardi do something, they do it big. Valentine's Day 2022 was no different for this on-and-off-again couple. On an episode of her Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries, Cardi and Offset tried something entirely different for Valentine's Day presents - inking their own tattoos. 

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Cardi Tries via Facebook Watch

They tattooed their wedding date onto each other. And it did not stop there. Offset filled their entire home with roses, and he gifted his wife six Chanel bags. Cardi returned the love with a caption on Instagram, "This is why we keep having kids. I love you."

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More Celebrations

Not only did Offset clearly love to spoil his wife, but the parents also loved to give the world to their kids. For Kulture's fourth birthday, the family did it the only way they knew how to. They threw the most elaborate party ever: a mermaid-themed party where mom and daughter dressed up in matching outfits.

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@iamcardib via Instagram

The party was held at their Atlanta mansion and featured balloons, ocean, and fish decor in different shades of pink, purple, and blue. There was even a giant octopus made of balloons. The kids enjoyed bouncy water slides while the adults danced the night away. But things were about to get messy, real quick...

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Messy Rumors

Cheating rumors started again when former Migos members, Quavo and the late Takeoff, released a new album with lyrics that seemingly took aim at Offset. In the song Messy, the lyrics seem to suggest that Offset had an affair with Quavo's ex-girlfriend, rapper Saweetie. 

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Prince Williams/Contributor via Getty Images

Cardi B did not seem deterred by these stirrings. She took no time and stepped in right away to address everything. She said on Twitter, "The RUMOR will be addressed on Offset's album." Offset's second solo album is set to be released on November 11, 2022.

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What Now?

But the I Like It singer kicked off more rumors after sharing a series of photos of her now 1-year-old son on Twitter. Wave was all cozied up in a silver puffer jacket, white sneakers, and a gray beanie. Cardi wrote in the caption, "My son so fire." But that's not all she said.

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MEGA/Contributor via Getty Images

She continued to write, "…I can't wait to get business finish and have my third." Cardi's last album was released in 2018, and since then, she has had her two children and has been focusing on making more music. Does this mean we have another album and baby on the way? We guess only time will tell...

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