Cardi B is the foremost female rapper and the first, since Lauren Hill in 1998, to grace the top of the Billboard Top 100 list with her debut solo single “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” four months after it was first released in 2017.
Cardi B shot to fame in 2015 after appearing on the New York franchise of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” in its sixth season. Hot on the heels of her appearance, she quickly parlayed her burgeoning mainstream fame into a career as a serious rapper.
Cardi B has a cult-following, and similar to Beyonce’s Beyhive, she has her own legion of fans who are diehard supporters, her Bardigang.
Cardi B was born in October 1992 as Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar in the Bronx, New York to a Trinidadian mother and Dominican father. She grew up in a poor neighborhood and without many positive influences in her early life. Cardi B has openly discussed becoming involved with gangs as a teenager.
She briefly attended the Renaissance High School For Musical Theater & Technology but did not graduate. She became an adult entertainer, partly at the suggestion of her former employer at a supermarket where she worked briefly. Her decision to enter this line of work was viewed as something positive, with Cardi B stating, “When I started stripping I went back to school.”
Social Media Stardom
The world was first introduced to Cardi B through the once-popular social media platform, “Vine”, where users uploaded short videos of themselves to gain popularity and followers. Cardi B utilized comical references to her life as an exotic dancer as well as her rapping skills to create funny, relatable clips for her viewers. She quickly gained notoriety with her “tell it like it is” style and her ongoing quest to become a millionaire.
Her Instagram profile and general social media antics elevated Cardi B’s status as an internet celebrity and by 2013, she was a rising star. It was around this time that she was noticed by the producers of Love & Hip Hop New York and she was then invited to join the cast in 2015.
Cardi B was added to the cast of Love & Hip Hop New York in its 6th season where she quickly overshadowed her co-stars with her unique style of humor and quirkiness. Her sharp wit, quick quips, and self-deprecating humor, coupled with her prowess at “clap-backs” was fodder for entertainment for fans of the show.
Since then, she has consistently churned out hit after hit and has blossomed into a Grammy-award winning, chart-topping phenom.
Billboard Top 100
Cardi B’s single “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” was first released in June 2017 by Atlantic Records and entered the Billboard top 100 in position number 85 in July. After 11 weeks on the charts, she finally surpassed Taylor Smith’s “Look What You Made Me Do”, to clinch the top spot in October, making her the first female rapper to accomplish this feat since Lauren Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998.
She has since landed three singles in the top 100, another record-breaking showing.
Cardi B won the Grammy award for Best Rap Album for her “Invasion of Privacy” album in 2019. She was nominated for five different awards that year.
What’s Next For Cardi?
Fans have come to expect greatness from Cardi B. She has consistently churned out chart-topping hits, played sold-out venues, and has had at least 13 songs off her latest album certified gold.
Fans are no doubt waiting with bated breath for her next album release. In the meantime, Cardi B has lately been using her platform to speak out against social injustices and voicing her support for police reform and other causes du jour. She encourages her 68 million Instagram followers to get involved by voting.