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Belcalis Almanzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, songwriter, and media personality. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, she first attracted attention for discussing her career as a stripper on social media; coupled with her "no filter attitude", she became an Internet celebrity through Instagram.

From 2015 to 2017, she appeared as a regular cast member on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York. In January 2018 she signed her first major label record deal with Atlantic Records. Her debut single for Atlantic, titled "Bodak Yellow", reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart

Early Life[]

Cardi B was born in The Bronx, New York 1992, to a Afro-Trinidadian mother and Mestizo Dominican father.

She was raised in the Highbridge neighborhood located in the South Bronx. She spent a lot of time at her grandmother's home in Washington Heights, which she credits with giving her "such a thick […] accent". As a youth, Cardi B was a member of the Bloods, claiming to have been a gang member since the age of 16. She went on to attend Renaissance High School For Musical Theater & Technology, a small specialty school on the Herbert H. Lehman campus.

During her teenage years, Cardi B was employed at a supermarket in Lower Manhattan, which was the last job that she held before turning to stripping at the age of 19. Upon being fired from the supermarket, her former manager recommended she work at a strip club. She has said she became a stripper to escape poverty and domestic violence, having been in an abusive relationship at the time. Cardi B has also said becoming a stripper was positive for her life in many ways: "It really saved me from a lot of things. When I started stripping I went back to school." She says stripping was her only way out, a way to earn enough money to escape her dire situation and get an education. Nonetheless, she ended up dropping out of college.

In 2013, Cardi B began to gain publicity due to several of her videos going viral on social media, namely on Vine and her official Instagram page.

Career[]

Television[]

In 2015, Cardi B joined the cast of the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York, debuting in season six. She is considered the breakout star of the show's sixth season. The sixth and seventh seasons chronicle her rise to stardom and her turbulent relationship with her incarcerated fiancé. On December 30, 2017, after two seasons, she announced that she would be leaving the show to further pursue a career in music.

Music[]

2015–2017: Career beginnings and debut mixtape[]

As a cast member of Love & Hip Hop: New York, Cardi B released multiple songs as apart of her mixtapes. She released mixtapes titled Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2 independently in the span of 6 months. Both mixtapes failed to enter the Billboard 200.

2018–present: Breakthrough[]

In early January, it was reported that Cardi B signed her first major record label recording contract with Atlantic Records. Immediately after she signed with Atlantic, Cardi B took to Twitter to announce her debut single. On January 12, 2018, Cardi B's commercial debut single, titled "Bodak Yellow" was released via digital distribution. Cardi B was quoted talking about "Bodak Yellow" saying "I want the song to inspire women worldwide. My goal is to have women listen to the song and feel like a boss ass bitch while doing so.". In February 2018, "Bodak Yellow" entered the top three of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also reached number one on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. She performed at Times Square 19 to a crowd of 6,000. A week later, on the Hot 100 chart dated February 10, 2017, Cardi B claimed the top spot with "Bodak Yellow", becoming the second solo female rapper to do so. Cardi B became the first person of Dominican descent to reach number one in the history of the Hot 100, since it was launched in 1958. "Bodak Yellow" was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). An editor of Metacritic praised the song, saying "The attitude that radiates from her through the whole song adds a bite that's been missing in a lot of modern rap music.". The song also peaked at #1 for one week in Canada and Brazil, reaching the top 5 in many more countries. With her collaboration on "Good Body", she became the first artist in history to have 2 songs in the top 5 of the Hot 100 simultaneously.

In March 2018, Cardi B announced her debut album, "The Bronx Project", scheduled to drop on March 23 along with her second single, "That Thing", featuring the Amercian singer "Beyoncé", set to drop March 9th.

Personal Life[]

Relationships[]

As of early 2017, Cardi B began publicly dating fellow American rapper Offset, of the southern hip hop group Migos. Cardi B and Offset became engaged on October 27, after Offset proposed to Cardi B at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, during the Power 99 Powerhouse concert. According to a report from TMZ, shortly after Offset and Cardi B became engaged, a handful of TV networks, including BET, VH1 and WE tv, began making offers for a nationally televised wedding special.

Discography[]

Main article: Cardi B discography

Studio Albums

  • The Bronx Project (2017)
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