Whether you’re into Cardi B or not, you can’t argue she’s been a major pop culture touchstone of the past year or two, which is why it feels somewhat egregious that Harper’s Bazaar beat Vogue to the punch here. (Especially with Vogue’s historically poor record of diverse cover subjects.) If Vogue is trying to attract a younger, cooler crowd, this should have been a no brainer. And Vogue’s photography lately has been flat and banal, and Harper’s is over here trying stuff — at least on the inside and subscriber covers — which I appreciate. As I noted earlier today in the Vogue post, the Biebers’ entire spread felt like something their PA could do for Instagram; when you have the best photographers in the world at your disposal, it’s lovely to do things that go beyond that.

Vanessa Grigoriadis interviewed Cardi while she got her nails done, and you know she’s good at what she does because she got enough from that one sitting. Granted, I don’t know how long the process took, but I feel like “Cardi B can talk to you while she gets an elaborate manicure” would make any journalist panic about having enough material for a profile. Nothing about the story will take you by surprise, but I did enjoy the parallel she begins to draw with Meghan Markle and a life of constant scrutiny:

It’s an intense time for Cardi, now one of the biggest rappers—and one of the most famous women in the world—caring for an infant and dealing with a semi-estranged husband. Her answer is to be as real as she can. As much as she may imagine herself as a princess, she talks about admiring Meghan Markle for becoming a real one. “She must just be like, ‘Who am I?’” Cardi says, referring to Markle’s having to live by the royal family’s rules. Not being able to be herself would be the worst punishment for Cardi.

She stops it there, but there’s more content about social media presence and how much more deliberately you have to live — and not being able to take your baby out to see your favorite places — that really resonates with what I’m sure Meghan and Kate are feeling, the latter at least being several years more used to it. And now I’m really hoping that Meghan and Cardi strike up a WhatsApp chain with a quickness.

[Photos: Mariano Vivanco for Harper’s Bazaar]