Last September, Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was the moment fans—and Cardi herself—had spent years waiting for, after supporting her mixtapes, singles, and hilarious online antics. For newcomers, the moment was an introduction to the Bronx rapper and her story, one of true hustle and a serious grind.
As the weeks went on, “Bodak Yellow” continued to break records, not the least of which was dethroning Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” It became the longest running No. 1 of all time by a solo woman rapper, and was certified platinum by the RIAA. Cardi is also the first Dominican artist to have a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Born in the Bronx, Cardi attributes her thick accent to the time she spent at her grandmother’s house in Washington Heights. After attending the Renaissance High School For Musical Theater & Technology and enrolling in college, Cardi found it challenging to support herself while getting her education, so she dropped out. At age 19, she started stripping—a chapter of her life that she is very honest about and unashamed of—and briefly went back to school, before dropping out again.
From 2015-2017, Cardi was on Love & Hip-Hop: New York. During this time, she was building a following on Instagram and Vine for her humorous videos, where she’d give her take on topics from plastic surgery to stripping, relationships, and working hard. Viral videos from both Love & Hip-Hop and social media were early signs of her undeniable star power.
After releasing three mixtapes, the success of “Bodak Yellow” made Cardi more famous and popular than ever. A feature on Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” remix has brought her more radio play and a performance at the Grammys. Her collaborations and relationship with Migos’ Offset have gotten her a lot of exposure and attention, as well. The two got engaged in October of 2017.
Though she seems to put it all out there on social media and in her music, there’s a lot more to know and love about the rising star. Here are 25 things you didn’t know about Cardi B.