Everything You Need to Know About Cardi B

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Even though she’s been part of the rap scene for a while now, Cardi B has the kind of fame that seems to have happened all at once. If you hadn’t heard of her until she performed with Bruno Mars on the Grammys, you aren’t alone, but you do need to catch up. Here’s everything you need to know about Cardi B and her already illustrious career:

Born Belcalis Almanzar, Cardi B is a female rapper who was born and raised in the Bronx to Dominican and Trinidadian parents. She came from fairly humble beginnings, working at supermarket in lower Manhattan until she was fired at age 19. To escape from poverty, domestic abuse, and to go back to school, Cardi B took the opportunity to start work as a stripper where she earned the money that would also allow her to later support her burgeoning career in music and publicize her music.

Cardi B used her career as a dancer as a form of empowerment, and her straightforward commentary about her work caused her to go viral on social media. Due in part to her presence on Instagram and vine, Cardi B was cast on the VHI series Love and Hip Hop: New York, where as you might expect, she was one of several focal points of the drama on the show.

The show covered the starting point of Cardi B’s career and presented the release of her first mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 in 2016. She released her second mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2 in 2017, and shortly after was signed to the major record label, Atlantic Records. With Atlantic Records, Cardi B finally released her first commercial single, “Bodak Yellow” and was catapulted into prominence.

“Bodak Yellow” is the kind of song which even if you think you’ve never heard it, you probably have, and if you know it well, it will be stuck in your head until the end of time. With her unapologetic style and lyrics, her single rose to the top spot on the Billboard Top 100 chart only two months after it was released. This success make her the first woman rapper to top the chart in 20 years and the first Dominican artist ever to top the chart. Because of her success, she was nominated in nine categories for the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2017.

This year, her following grew even bigger after she rapped on the remix of Bruno Mars ‘Finesse,” released in early 2018. They performed the track together at the 2018 Grammys with an aesthetic inspired by In Living Color, which was vibrant and high energy, just like Cardi B.

Personally, I was a huge fan of her recent performance and I appreciate her inspiring level of confidence in herself and in her work. Even if you aren’t a fan of her music, between her success story, style, and mastery of social media, there’s certainly something in her repertoire to respect.

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