Rapper Cardi B’s most recent album broke a number of records and established her as one of the most vital voices in hip-hop currently, but it’s one of her earlier projects that’s getting her hauled into court. An ongoing case doesn’t seem to be going in Cardi’s favor, unlike the rest of her career.
Cardi B’s first mixtape, Gangsta B**ch Music, Vol. 1, was released in 2016 on independent label KSR. Unlike her later offerings, it was the earliest version of her talent and mostly came on the heels of her breakout success on reality show Love and Hip-Hop. Noisey by Vice called it “the first good record to come out of Love and Hip-Hop.”
What wasn’t good however, was the photoshop job done on the cover by the artist, of which Cardi is now seemingly going to pay the price for his mistake. Cardi B’s going to be facing a federal jury now for the tattoo that appears on the back of the model on her album cover.
Kevin Brophy, Jr.’s allegations that Cardi misappropriated his likeness in a “misleading, offensive, humiliating, and provocatively sexual way” in order to launch her career have enough merit that she’ll have to sit for a jury. It was his tattoo, found from a google search by the graphic designer of the cover, that was Photoshopped onto the male model’s back that can be seen pleasuring Cardi via stimulated cunnilingus.
Cardi B argued that the cover image was a “transformative fair use” of Brophy’s likeness, but the judge didn’t agree. He did agree with Cardi on the fact that her using Brophy’s tattoo more than likely wasn’t the reason she became a star.
See the album cover below.