Cardi B isn’t holding back on her new single “Press” — in the lyrics, or the album artwork.
Just hours before the single dropped at midnight on Friday, the 26-year-old rapper teased the new release, sharing a shot of herself completely naked, except for two strategically placed black bars, one of which was emblazoned with the name of the song.
In the shot, Cardi is being led outside by a group of men and completely surrounded by members of the press, waiting with their cameras to capture the dramatic moment.
After the single was released, she shared another photo from the same shoot, which saw the rapper closing her eyes while the press took photographs of her.
Additional shots posted on photographer Jora Frantzis’ account, show Cardi getting confrontational with the assembled photographers, and in one shot, the star’s mascara can be seen running down her face as she gets emotional.
The photos are a fitting representation of the track, which finds the rapper taking an adversarial stance against the media as well as anybody else who “be talking that s—” about her.
“Press, press, press, press, press / Cardi don’t need more press / Kill ‘em all, put them hoes to rest / Walk in, bulletproof vest,” she raps on the song.
The new photos are a significant departure from the artwork she released earlier this week in support of the single. Those images saw Cardi wearing an animal print top and a pair of shorts during a court hearing.
One shot was also a direct reference to serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in 2002 after being found guilty of killing seven men.
In the photo, Cardi sits in a witness box while holding her handcuffed hands up to her face, mirroring a pose Wuornos struck in one of her mugshots.
Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron in the 2003 film Monster, which earned the actress an Academy Award.
The nude album artwork was released just days after Cardi addressed critics of her plastic surgery and defended her choice to take some time off from performing while she finishes healing.
“You know, I hate canceling shows because I love money,” Card said in an Instagram Live video on Monday, which has since been shared on YouTube. “But like, health is wealth, so I have to do what I have to do.”
To the critics who said she should have exercised instead of opting for surgery, Cardi said, “I do whatever the f– I want with my body.”
“My job as an entertainer is a 24-hour job, bro. So, no, I don’t have time to work out,” she continued. “And I wanted specific things that I know that no matter how much I work out, is not going to get fixed. Like my boobs, no matter how much I work out, they’re not going to lift themselves. So yeah, I have to get f— surgery. That’s right. All right? My breasts gotta f— heal, and it is what it is.”
Cardi announced last week that several of her scheduled concerts would be postponed.
“Cardi was overzealous in getting back to work; she didn’t take the time necessary to fully recover from her surgery,” her rep told PEOPLE last week. “Her strenuous schedule has taken a toll on her body and she has been given strict doctor’s orders to pull out of the rest of her performances in May.”
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