BY: KIARRA DELOUIS
Whether you know her as the star of the VH1 show "Love and Hip Hop" or the rapper behind the hit single "Bodak Yellow," you have to respect Cardi B's grind. Born in the South Bronx section of New York City, Belcalis Almanzar did not live an easy, privileged life.
Besides dealing with financial issues, Almanzar was raised in a single-parent household. A former college dropout and stripper, she had no choice but to chase her dreams. In "Bodak Yellow," she raps "I don't dance now, I make money moves;" a mentality that became one of the hottest lyrics of 2017 and a motto that changed her life forever.
"Bodak Yellow," which has grossed more than 200 million views on Youtube, is now the #1 song in the country. Cardi B has become the first female hip-hop artist to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with no features since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Cardi B's other music includes "Red Barz," "Foreva," and two mixtapes: "Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1" and "Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2."
Cardi B's success has shaken up the female rap industry. Nicki Minaj, with 14 Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, has been the female rapper on top in recent years. In 2016, Minaj won the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop artist for the seventh time in a row. But this year Remy Ma took the award home, dethroning the "Queen of Rap."
From rags to riches, Cardi B has shown us what it looks like to glow up when faced with adversity. She has shown that she can compete with the top female rappers in the industry. "Sometimes I can't believe it, it looks overwhelming. I get emotional," Cardi said in an interview with The Breakfast Club. The 25-year-old rapper's accomplishments include nine BET Award nominations, 13 million monthly Spotify listeners and 10.6 million Instagram followers. Cardi B has always been popular, but her clout has gone up so much; even Janet Jackson is out here dancing to "Bodak Yellow" on her "State of the World" tour.
Cardi B is currently dating Migos rapper, Offset. The two have been very public about their romance, and even recorded the song "Lick" together. Cardi B gave her boo a shout out when she accepted the award for Best New Hip Hop Artist at the BET Hip Hop Awards this month.
Fans are waiting not-so-patiently for Cardi B's debut album, which she hinted at in September. The project is expected to drop in October, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Regardless of when we get a Cardi album, the young MC has definitely proven herself to be a truly talented artist. When she first started rapping, many people had doubts about Cardi's legitimacy as a rapper and critics thought she was simply a gimmick.
As part of her current tour, Cardi B will be stopping in D.C. on Oct. 19 to perform at Echostage for Howard University's homecoming.
As she continues to break records, make money moves and open up about her love life, there is never a dull moment when Cardi B is the topic of conversation.