Cardi B’s Rise to Fame

Molly Farrar, A&E Editor

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With 16.1 million followers on Instagram and a hit song with 411 million views on YouTube, Cardi B, born as Belcalis Almanzar, has been pushing boundaries as a woman in rap and hip-hop, and it’s left an impression on teenagers and adults alike.

Almanzar’s single “Bodak Yellow” is the first woman solo rap song to top the charts since Lauryn Hill’s single in 1998. Her rise to fame, however, has not been traditional.

The 25-year-old was born in the Bronx to a Trinidadian mother and Dominican father and began stripping when she was 19. During her stripping career, Almanzar was idolized as a social media personality who doesn’t mince words; some of her most popular vines were raunchy rants in her distinct Dominican accent with New York City slang.

Senior Allie Hosto isn’t a fan of Almanzar’s “trashy” style, but understands her appeal.

“The only reason she’s famous is because of her previous occupation and her use of social media,” Hosto said. “I would compare her to someone like the “How Bout Dah” girl.”

After starring for two seasons on the reality show “Love & Hip Hop: New York,” she moved on to become serious about her music career. Atlantic Records signed her quickly after the release of her first single “Cheap A** Weave.”

She gained her massive following after her single “Bodak Yellow” was released early 2017 and became a chart topper, knocking Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” off its throne.

She ended 2017 with some of the best features of the year with artists much as Migos, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, D.R.A.M., and more. Her success has put her more in a position of influence over younger generations.

Junior Noah Eagle holds Almanzar in high esteem as an artist and role model.

“She’s a strong female presence in a field dominated by men and I think she’s extremely talented too,” he said.

Almanzar is now one of today’s most prominent female artists, according to Money, and she is taking on her role as idol.

“I inspire women to make money,” she said in an interview with XXL, a hip-hop magazine. “I’m not encouraging women to be a stripper. I’ma tell women to find a niche and make the best out of yourself and make money out of it.”

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Cardi B’s Rise to Fame