Cardi B, in court after dropping ‘Press,’ deftly spins the media machine

Cardi B arrives at Queens Criminal Court on Friday.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

Cardi B’s new song says she “don’t need more press,” but that’s exactly what she got after appearing in court Friday.

Adding a plunging pink pantsuit to her outrageous courtroom wardrobe, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper was back in Queens court in New York for a hearing. However, she appeared somber and did not speak, according to the Associated Press, which reported that her case will next go to a grand jury. And that could bring stiffer charges.

Cardi’s legal saga stems from her alleged involvement in a strip-club melee with two female bartenders in August 2018. The fight reportedly broke out because the hip-hop star suspected that one of the bartenders was sleeping with her husband, Offset, a rapper in the group Migos, who was also at the club that night.

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Friday’s appearance was the latest in the drawn-out case, which began last October when the rapper was arrested and released after voluntarily turning herself over to New York authorities. She was charged with assault and reckless endangerment, but, in April, the Grammy winner rejected a plea deal that offered her reduced charges and no jail time.

Prosecutors said Friday that they would present their case to a grand jury, AP reported. They believe that Cardi ordered her entourage to attack the women in a dispute that involved chairs and bottles being thrown. Cardi’s lawyer has said that she didn’t harm anyone.

Cardi, 26, real name Belcalis Almanzar, is due back in court Aug. 9.

The hearing came just hours after the Bronx-bred rapper debuted her long-teased single “Press,” a rapid-fire invective against her detractors — and the press-fueled rumor mill — in which she raps that she’s also “done with the talkin’, I’m open to violence.”

The former stripper and reality star has made no secret of her venomous distaste for those who cut her down. She fully leaned into that anger on the combative new track, which is a far cry from the dance tracks “I Like It” and “Please Me,” and fiercer than her diatribes on “Be Careful” and “Money.”

In the run-up to the release, Cardi B teased “Press” on Instagram with courtroom-inspired shots, including one influenced by a famous photo of convicted serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The tune’s provocative official cover art features the artist glamorously nude surrounded by a scrum of aged paparazzi. It’s a look that almost mirrored present-day, although without the pantsuit.

Art imitating life, indeed.

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