The Rise of Cardi B

Image courtesy of Rolling Stone

Cardi B is a breath of fresh air. The chart-topping rapper and woman of the moment, hailing from the Bronx, is an absolute force to be reckoned with. In today’s music industry where it’s easy to lose yourself and get caught up in the fame, Cardi B, whose birth name is Belcalis Almanzar, is staying true to herself and fans are loving how real she is. Her authenticity has certainly contributed to her rising success and it keeps people only wanting more and anticipating what is next for the star. But, how did Cardi B achieve her dream so quickly? Her inspiring rags-to-riches story is surely one that will encourage young women to follow their ambitions.

Born on October 11, 1992 in the Bronx, Almanzar was raised by her mother, who is from Trinidad and her father, who is Dominican. She attended a high school for musical theatre, perhaps where she nurtured her talent. When she was 19, she was fired from the supermarket that she worked at, but turned to stripping, which gave her the financial power to escape an abusive relationship and support herself by getting an education. Despite being a college dropout, Almanzar put her unapologetic, hilarious self out on the Internet and became a social media star. The future rapper also starred on the VH1 television show, Love & Hip Hop: New York, from seasons six through eight, until she left to pursue her passion for music.

After dabbling in music, Cardi B (it is said that her parents nicknamed her “Bacardi”), released her mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1., which was then followed by her sophomore mixtape in the series. In February, the rapper was signed to Atlantic Records and was the opening act for The Lox’s Filthy America… It’s Beautiful tour. She continued to rise by being nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards and although she didn’t win anything, she was honored to be recognized for her hard work and contribution to hip-hop.

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On June 16, 2017, Cardi B’s life completely changed when her single, “Bodak Yellow” was released and after a few months, certified gold. On September 25, 2017, Cardi B achieved the top of the Billboard Hot 100, knocking Taylor Swift from her number one spot, and was the first solo female rapper to claim the top since Lauryn Hill did so in 1998.  This was an amazing achievement for the young 25-year-old star. To be a woman of color who went through so many setbacks in life to get to where she is today is extremely inspiring.

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Even though Cardi B may not be everyone’s cup of tea, you can’t help but look at all that she has accomplished in such a short amount of time, while still staying true to her original self. In an industry where females still have to fight for equal rights, pay and respect, Cardi B encourages young girls to put the time and energy into achieving their wildest dreams. She is an example of someone who gives zero thoughts about what others think and instead, is a trailblazer in her own way. From topping charts to making “shmoney”, we cannot wait to see what is in store for this hip-hop hustler.