Cardi B had a huge night at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, a feather in her cap after a year full of big successes. Born Belcalis Almanzar, the 25-year-old rapper from New York with Dominican heritage had an unusual path to stardom. She was a stripper who became a viral Instagram star. That got the fledgling rapper a reality tv gig and from there, that platform helped her rap career take off.
As a rapper, Cardi B’s style is raw and aggressive. She points to Missy Elliott, Tweet, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Khia, Trina, and Puerto Rican rapper Ivy Queen as influences. Her big break came on the VH1 series Love & Hip Hop, starting in 2015. Cardi B’s first full-length project, the mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1, was released in March 2016. The second volume of the Gangsta Bitch Music series came out in January 2017. The success of the Gangsta Bitch Music mixtapes led to a record deal with Atlantic Records. Atlantic released Cardi’s huge hit single “Bodak Yellow” in June 2017.
“Bodak Yellow” went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts for weeks, becoming the longest-running No. 1 song from a solo female rapper in Hot 100 history. It also won Single of the Year at the BET Hip Hop Awards. At the same awards show, Cardi B also won Best Mixtape for Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2, Best New Hip-Hop Artist, Hustler of the Year, and the Made-You-Look style award. Cardi B proved that she deserved the style award with her look that night. She walked the green carpet in a flashy, low cut gown and performed “Bodak Yellow” in a long fur coat with bold patterns over a diamond bra and bright pink pants.
Marjua Estevez writes for Vibe that “despite her rise to fame, Cardi is considerably reclusive and a private person.” Online, though, she uses her platform to rep things she cares about like body positivity and feminism. She even urged her millions of Instagram followers to vote for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 election. She also lets loose with her opinions and proves that she’s got style and jokes to spare. Cardi B’s brand is all about keeping it real with no-nonsense honesty and humor.
Cardi B is a self-proclaimed Christian. She is dating Migos member Offset, a rapper who did a verse for her single “Lick.” Cardi B has managed to avoid scandal so far and has steered clear of the infamous feud between fellow New York rappers Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj.
We look forward to listening to Cardi B’s soon-to-be-released debut album!