Cardi B: From Stripper To history Making Rapper


It is certain that you have heard the lines to Bodak Yellow these past few months.

The song follows the hot successes of rap songs like ‘Unforgettable‘ by French Montana, ‘Black Beatles‘ by Rae Sremmurd and ‘Bad & Bougee‘ by Migos.

Bodak Yellow is one of those songs you can’t run from. The global smash hit has Nigerian millennials amped up as their foreign counterparts.

The only difference between Bodak Yellow and the listed songs above is that a woman is responsible for the latest global rap anthem. No, it’s not Nicki Minaj. Her name is Cardi B and she has just entered the history books.

Bodak Yellow hit the top spot on the Billboard chart. The song was the first solo track by a female rapper to reach that position since Lauryn Hill‘s ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ in 1998.

This achievement has led everyone to send Cardi B congratulatory messages. The list includes Taylor Swift, J. Cole, and her supposed rival Nicki Minaj.

Who exactly is Nicki Minaj and how did she bum rush the charts?

Belcalis Almanzar is of Dominican and Trinidadian descent. She was born in 1992 and from a young age, she had a flair for music. Raised in New York, Cardi B was surrounded by the sounds of East coast rap. Her heritage would also open her to genres of music popular in the Caribbean.

Naturally, her love for music would make her attend the Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology. After school, Cardi B started working at Amish Market, a supermarket in Manhattan, New York.

She would go on to lose the job. Also, Cardi B was in a violent relationship at the time. She was just 19 years old. “I used to live with my ex-boyfriend in his mom’s house with two pit bulls, and his sister who used to steal my little bit of money and my little bit of weed, and there were bedbugs in there,” she told Complex in 2016.

The manager at her former job told Cardi B to try stripping since she was good looking and had a nice body. In order to leave her abusive relationship, Cardi B at 19 became a stripper.

The money she got from stripping helped Cardi B start a new life for herself. Her career has a lap dancer wasn’t what made her famous. Cardi B is a loud and sometimes comes off as lousy. On social media, she used her high-pitch voice to talk express her views and opinions. 

Her videos on Instagram caught on wildfire and that’s how Cardi B became famous in New York. Naturally, her rawness and ratchetness attracted reality TV producers to her. In 2015, she became a cast member of the hit reality TV series “Love & Hip Hop: New York“. The reality focuses on the lives and escapades of Hip-Hop personalities.

The reality show helped introduce Cardi B to a wider audience. The stripper/reality star became famous (and rich enough) to ditch her career as a dancer and focus on her first love music.

In 2016 she released her debut body of work, a mixtape titled “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1” Cardi B would go hard in the booth, releasing “Underestimated: The Album” and “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2” in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In less than 12 months, she released three projects.

On June 16, 2017, she released ‘Bodak Yellow’ on Atlantic Records. As the popular saying goes, we know the rest.

You can call her a flash in the pan or the next female rap star. No one knows what the future holds for her but one thing is certain, she has made history. 

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