Cardi B stepped on the scene and almost overnight took the world by storm. Born Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, the Afro-Dominican-Trinidadian rapper first made a name for herself for showing off her honest and in-your-face attitude on her Instagram account and later on the reality show, Love & Hip Hop: New York (from 2015-2017). Cardi was making music before dropping the 2017 hit single, “Bodak Yellow,” but the jam however, put her on the map, and helped make Cardi B a star.
Today, Cardi is practically a household name. She is arguably the biggest female rapper out right now, and has broken records and limits, left and right. We’ve seen Cardi sitting front row at New York Fashion Week shows (and next to Anna Wintour), speaking her mind on national talk shows, announcing her pregnancy in style on Saturday Night Live, and making the world pay major attention to another dope Latina from the Bronx.
Now that Cardi B has all our attention, why not take a look at 15 facts we dug about the rapper okurrr?!
How Belcalis Became Cardi
Although we all know her as Cardi B, or simply Cardi, it’s not actually her name, but rather a nickname. Belcalis would jokingly get called Bacardi, because her sister’s name is Hennessy. She then switched up the letters a bit to come up with a new moniker — Cardi B.
Speaking her mind is part of her success
Cardi B has talent and style, but part of her meteoric rise to the top has been due to her brutal honesty. On her Instagram and Vine profiles, and on Love & Hip Hop, she was as candid as humanly possible about all sorts of topics; Cardi becoming famous hasn’t stopped her from speaking her mind. Her lyrics are bold and brash, and you will still see Cardi B on Insta going off on whatever pisses her off, celebrating all her success, sharing tidbits of wisdom, and more.
Cardi was on Love & Hip Hop
As we previously mentioned, Cardi B appeared on the show, Love & Hip Hop: New York. On Twitter, fans were sharing their excitement, ready to see the social media star on the small screen, and Cardi didn’t disappoint. She was hilarious, fun to watch, and made for golden television. And she proved to be one of the biggest, most successful music stars to have appeared on the reality show. Cardi B left LHHNY in December of 2016, to focus on her music career.
Her music before “Bodak Yellow”
Sure, we all know “Bodak Yellow”— probably word for word at this point — but the hit wasn’t the first song Cardi B released. In November of 2015, Cardi was on the remix of Shaggy and Popcaan’s “Boom Boom,” and her first video was for the song, “Cheap Ass Weave,” which dropped in December of the same year. Cardi released two mixtapes before dropping Invasion of Privacy: Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2.
Cardi has broken several records and set others
Cardi B has not only become a star, but she has broken records, tied records, and set others, along the way. She was the first female rapper to have three number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; the second, after Lauren Hill (in 1998) to top that same chart in 2017. Cardi was also the first rapper ever to have three charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100 enter among the top 10 spots at the same time. And these are just some of her achievements and accomplishments!
She’s won several awards
With success comes recognition, often times in the form of awards. Cardi B definitely has earned enough premios to fill up space in her home (45, with 23 pending), and it looks like she will garner even more if she keeps up this pace. Some of Cardi’s awards include the Grammy for Best Rap Album, a Billboard Music Award for Top Female Rap Artist, three American Music Awards, a Premio Lo Nuestro, three MTV Video Music Awards, and many more recognitions.
Cardi has become a style icon and on-trend fashionista
Fashion and style is part of the whole package for a musical artist. He or she has to be on top of the latest trends and wearing the top designers but also have signature looks and personal style moments that are recognizable and often start trends of their own. Cardi B has proven she has both facets in the bag, and a Hermes Birkin bag at that.
She pays homage to her musical inspirations
Be it through her outfits, lyrics, or just flat out saying it on her social media, Cardi B isn’t too big a star to give props to her musical idols. She has dressed similarly to Selena and sang to her on Instagram; dressed up like Left Eye of TLC at Coachella; and has paid homage to other stars, including Lil Kim and Missy Elliot.
She is the only solo female to win the Grammy for best rap album
Cardi B made history at this year’s Grammy Awards when she took home the statue for Best Rap Album. She became the first solo female rapper to earn the honor; Lauryn Hill has won the Grammy for Best Rap Album as part of The Fugees (in 1997).
Cardi has done some big collabs
Cardi earned her success, but her array of dazzling collaborations no doubt helped. The Dominicana has been fortunate enough to create dope music with the following artists: Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez, Migos, G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, Ozuna, Selena Gomez, Maroon 5, and more.
Cardi B has 7 Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart
An impressive feat that is worth mentioning on its own is the fact that Cardi B has seven top 10 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. These are:
– “I Like It,” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin
– “Girls Like You,” Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B
– “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”
– “Finesse,” with Bruno Mars
– “Please Me,” with Bruno Mars
– “No Limit,” G-Eazy, Featuring A$AP Rocky and Cardi B
– “MotorSport,” Cardi B with Migos and Nicki Minaj
Her Tom Ford lipstick sold out
We reported that when Tom Ford released a lipstick inspired by, and dedicated to Cardi B, it sold out — in less than 24 hours. The $36 lippie is a unique cobalt blue, with a bit of shimmer.
As did her Fashion Nova collection
When Cardi B first collaborated with Fashion Nova for a Cardi collection, it sold out quickly, breaking a record for the online retailer. She just announced that a second collection is on the way, and we predict that it will sell out too!
Cardi B is the first Dominican to top the Hot 100 — ever
Not only is Cardi B making moves for rappers, women, and WOC, but she is also accomplishing big things for Latinxs in general, and, specifically, Dominicans. When Cardi topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart (which she has three times), she became the first Dominican — man or woman — to do so. Ever.
Cardi is also an actress
In addition to being a rapper, songwriter, former reality TV star, and fashion designer, Cardi B is also an actress. She has already had a role as Mercedes on an episode of the show Being Mary Jane, and is slated to star alongside Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, and Lili Reinhart in the upcoming movie, Hustlers.