There aren’t many come-up stories better than Cardi B’s rise to fame. Born and raised in the Bronx, Belcalis Almanza started out as an internet celebrity after her videos posted to her Vine and Instagram accounts went viral (see: “A hoe never gets cold”). Following her internet virality, Cardi was cast on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York. The rapper made her mark during the show as a hilarious yet dedicated aspiring musician struggling to get to the top. Two years after her first appearance, Cardi decided to leave the show to focus on her music career.
Upon her departure from Love & Hip Hop, Cardi secured a feature on singer Shaggy’s remix to his track “Boom Boom,” then released the music video for “Cheap Ass Weave,” which was followed by her first mixtapes: Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 and Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2. From there, Cardi continued her ascension into a successful rapping career, eventually signing to Atlantic Records. In 2017, she released her first hit song, “Bodak Yellow,” which secured the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three consecutive weeks. During this time, she began her relationship with her Offset, one-third of the Atlanta-based hip-hop group Migos.
The following year, Cardi went on to release her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, after dropping a series of successful collaborations, including “Finesse” by Bruno Mars and “Motorsport” by Migos featuring Nicki Minaj. During the 2019 Grammy Awards, Cardi’s hard work paid off in the best possible way when she won Best Rap Album of the Year for Invasion of Privacy. Throughout her career, Cardi B has traced back to her Dominican roots by working with Latin trap stars including Bad Bunny and J Balvin on “I Like It,” offering a new take on Reggaeton music. If her memorable verses and consistent bangers are indicative of anything, it’s that she’s not just a “regular degular” girl from the Bronx.