“Thanks also to all my haters. They download my songs to blaspheme about it and don’t understand that they are of use to me.” When Cardi B accepted the award for “Best Newcomer” at the “iHeartRadio Music Awards” last night, her appearance couldn’t be more confident. Restraint is clearly not part of the character traits of the 25-year-olds. Good this way! There is no reason for that either. Cardi B is the new star of hip-hop and she knows it, even though she is still at the beginning of her career.
Where does this self-confidence come from? Cardi B was born as Belcalis Almanzar in the New York Bronx in 1992 to a Trinidadian mother and a Dominican father. She learned to assert herself from an early age and is a member of the notorious street gang “Bloods”. At 18, Cardi B started working as a stripper. A decision she never hid. In interviews today, she emphasizes that stripping – contrary to common prejudices – gave her independence in her former situation, trapped in a destructive relationship, and got her off the street. “Just because a woman was a stripper doesn’t mean she’s stupid,” Cardi B stresses over and over again. Her message, whether she talks about her past as a stripper, female sexuality or Donald Trump’s immigration policy: Nobody has the right to look down on others for whatever reason. Cardi B offended early on with her statements, and at the same time she was admired by many people. When she’s thrown out of school, she devotes all of her time to social media. Soon she is so successful on Instagram that she quits her job as a stripper.
In 2015 Cardi B took part in the reality format “Love & Hip Hop: New York” on the American TV channel VH1 and became known to a large audience. After only one year, however, she leaves the show to start a serious career as an artist. She signs a contract with Atlantic Records. Shortly afterwards, her incredible success: her debut single “Bodak Yellow”, which will be released in June 2017, landed straight away at number 1 on the Billboard “Hot 100” in the USA. Cardi B is the first solo rapper since Lauryn Hill in 1998 to achieve this feat. In the first week after its release, the song was streamed over 40 million times. The whole world seems to have gotten into Cardi-B fever overnight. The New York Times called “Bodak Yellow” the “Rap Anthem of 2017”. A year later, Cardi B was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Rap Song” category.