Belcalis Almanzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper.
Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, 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 February 2017, she signed her first major label record deal with Atlantic Records after releasing two mixtapes. Her debut single for Atlantic, titled “Bodak Yellow”, reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her the second-ever female rapper to do so with a solo output, following Lauryn Hill in 1998. Her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy (2018) entered at number one on the Billboard 200. Time named the rapper one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual list in 2018.
On June 16, 2017, Atlantic Records released Cardi B’s commercial debut single, titled “Bodak Yellow” via digital distribution. In June 2017, it was revealed that Cardi B would be on the cover of The Fader’s Summer Music issue for July/August 2017. On July 18, 2017, she performed “Bodak Yellow” on The Wendy Williams Show, where she was also interviewed by Williams. When the host asked where her moniker derived from, Cardi B responded with the distilled beverage Bacardi, as people would call her that. Her sister is also nicknamed Hennessy Carolina, referencing the French cognac: “My sister’s name, her name is Hennessy, so everybody used to be like Bacardi to me then I shortened it to Cardi B, and the ‘B’ stands for whatever depending on the day.”
In August 2017, “Bodak Yellow” entered the top two of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also reached number one on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. She performed at MoMA PS1 on August 19 to a crowd of 4,000. On the Hot 100 chart dated September 25, 2017, Cardi B claimed the top spot with “Bodak Yellow”, becoming the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” debuted atop the chart in 1998. It stayed atop the charts for three consecutive weeks, tying with American pop singer Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” as the longest running female at the number one spot in 2017. 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 eventually certified quintuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). An editor of The New York Times called it “the rap anthem of the summer”. With her collaborations “No Limit” and “MotorSport”, she became first female rapper to land her first three entries in the top 10 of the Hot 100, and the first female artist to achieve the same on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In October 2017, Cardi B headlined Power 105.1’s annual Powerhouse music celebration, alongside The Weeknd, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In December, she released a collaboration with Puerto Rican singer Ozuna titled “La Modelo”, and the second single from her debut album, “Bartier Cardi”. On January 3, 2018, Cardi B was featured on Bruno Mars’ remix version of “Finesse”, and also appeared in the 90’s inspired video. On January 18, Cardi B became the first woman to have five top 10 singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. She released the single “Be Careful” on March 30. Her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy was released on April 6, 2018. During a performance on Saturday Night Live in April 2018, Cardi B officially announced her pregnancy after much media speculation. The album entered at number one in the United States, while she became the first female artist to chart 13 entries simultaneously on Billboard Hot 100, for the chart issue dated April 21. As Cardi B rose to prominence she was able to transition from a stripper to modeling for fashion websites. In February 2017, she partnered with M.A.C and Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport for an event for New York Fashion Week. During an April 2017 interview with HotNewHipHop, Cardi B spoke on being rejected by fashion designers. Her April appearance in i-D’s “A-Z of Music” video was sponsored by designer Marc Jacobs, and she made the cover of The Fader’s July/August 2017 Summer Music issue. In August 2017, the Style section of the New York Times’s Sunday edition did a half-page story on her. The writer reported on her preparations for her first public performance in New York City, at MoMA PS1, describing her appearance as she arrived to the interview in “leggings, an Atlanta Braves ‘Los Bravos’ logo jersey and white Yeezy sneakers”. She also covered Cardi’s affinity for Christian Louboutin heels (a running theme in her song “Bodak Yellow”), and the custom local designer, LaQuan Smith, whose red dress she wore to perform.