I doubt anyone’s ever bought or streamed Cardi B’s music to admire the accompanying album artwork, but here we are. A man in California is suing the rapper, claiming she humiliated him and damaged his reputation by using his image on a mixtape cover from 2016. Yep, six years ago.
The story goes like this: Back then, Cardi was a rising star still in the early stages of parlaying her role on Love & Hip Hop into her current megastardom. Along the way she dropped a few mixtapes, one of which featured an image of Cardi posing with a man’s head between her legs.
The problem is that the picture was digitally altered to add part of a distinctive back tattoo that belongs to Kevin Michael Brophy, who now says he’s traumatized that—again, six years ago—people who’ve never met him and don’t know who he is saw the tattoo on a dude who was simulating having a Cardi B sandwich for lunch.
“Their life has been disrupted,” Cappello told the jury as Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, watched from the defense table. He said the image disturbed Brophy along with his wife, Lindsay Michelle Brophy, who he says initially questioned her husband if it was him in the cover art. The couple has two young children.
Brody has said he once considered his back tattoo featuring a tiger battling a serpent to be a “Michelangelo piece” that has since become “raunchy and disgusting.”
We question that whole bit about the wife questioning Brophy, not because he’s likely not Cardi B’s type, but simply because of this: he’s white and the model wearing his tattoo is Black.
Brophy is asking for $5 million in the case.