Everyone knows Cardi B. It’s a little hard not to know her. Skyrocketing to fame with her hit “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi B has been in the starlight ever since.
From her start as an inspiring rapper to the historic award winner, we’ve seen it all. And we’ve also seen her bad moments, like her fight at the strip club and her beef with Nicki Minaj.
That’s part of being a celebrity, after all!
But what about the moments before she became famous? What led to her release of “Bodak Yellow”? Where was she? Who was she? Did you know that she was a stripper? There are so many questions that need to be answered. And those answers are here.
A comprehensive list of Cardi B’s most important moments starting from before she became famous and beyond has been made.
Here is Cardi B from stripper to singer.
Why Did She Strip?
Cardi B chose to start stripping at the age of 18. According to her, it was a means of escaping domestic violence and since Cardi had been fired from her previous job at a supermarket when someone suggested she should try stripping she thought it was indeed a good idea.
And so she did. She stripped to make enough money for school and to make ends meet. Originally, Cardi hid the fact from her mother and told her she got the money from babysitting. Her initial plan was to strip until she was 25 but stopped when she was 23 after becoming a social media personality.
Cardi B has always been open about stripping and the rapper does not try to dance around this subject as she seems very proud of it.
Cardi explained how women working there moulded her into the person she is today and taught her. “A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful,” said Cardi. “I did gain, like, a passion and love [of] performing. It made me feel pretty…I’m glad for this chapter in my life.”
According to her, she became educated on the world and matured during her time stripping and is a part of her life that she won’t forget.
Love And Hip Hop
Before her hit-single, Cardi B was part of seasons six and seven of Love and Hip Hop: New York. She was considered one of the most popular figures on the show and quickly gained a following.
Her style and take-no-crap attitude, as well as her candid way of speaking, helped grow her popularity. “I’m just a regula degula shmegula girl from the Bronx,” said Cardi when she first joined the show.
And as her popularity rose, Cardi refused to change or back down when asked to. In one episode, she told her sister Hennessy about the struggles the up-and-coming artist had to deal with. “When I was in the hood, I had like three haters and it’s cool because I can keep my eyes on them,” said Cardi. “But now it’s just like a thousand people that hate on me in one day and that’s just killing my [mentality.]”
One of her most famous moments on the show was when she threatened to “pop-off” on her producer’s girlfriend Asia and was mostly remembered for throwing her wig on the floor to prove a point.
Cardi’s time on Love and Hip Hop was a sneak peek of how her career would go.
Cardi B was actually in the music industry for a few years before she became well-known, as according to her official bio, she made her musical debut in November 2015.
Cardi was part of reggae fusion singer Shaggy’s remix to his song “Boom Boom” whilst her music video debut was on December 15, 2015, singing “Cheap Ass Weave.”
The song was a rendition of Lady Leshurr’s “Queen’s Speech 4” and her first full-length project was revealed on March 7, 2016. It was mixtape called Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 where she was featured in a compilation album of KSR Group artists, Underestimated: The Album.
In regards to one of the album’s singles, “What a Girl Likes,” Cardi B wanted the song to speak to girls, as according to her “I wanted to make a song that would make girls dance, twerk and at the same time encourage them to go get that Shmoney,” said Cardi.
First Brush with Fame
Her second mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2, was released on January 20, 2017, but that wasn’t the only project Cardi had her hands on.
At that time, she was also working with MAC Cosmetics and Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport in February to promote New York Fashion Week.
It was around that time that she signed with Atlantic Records. I and it wasn’t long before Cardi had her first nomination, as she was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist at the 2017 BET Awards.
She might have not won, but that was her first real taste of fame which also foreshadowed Cardi’s blowout success later on in the year.
On June 16, 2017, Cardi B released her first major-label song. “Bodak Yellow” took the charts by storm and quickly made Cardi B a household name.
The song was number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for three consecutive weeks. This made her the fifth female rapper to lead the chart, while she was also the second female rapper and the first person of Dominican descent in the history of the Hot 100 to lead the chart with a solo song.
And finally, the song re-entered the top ten during its 26th week, accompanying Cardi’s other singles “MotorSport” and “No Limit.” This made her the third performer to have the first three chart entries amongst the top ten at the same time.
The song was influenced by Kodak Black’s “No Flockin” and without a shred of doubt, this was marked as the beginning of Cardi B’s career.
She had already formed devoted fans around the world and the lead single from her debut studio album “Invasion of Privacy,” left her fans wanting for more!
Critical reception to the song was positive. Everyone loved how catchy the song was, along with Cardi’s vocals.
As regards “Bodak Yellow” Stereogum’s Tom Breihan wrote that: “Cardi uses [her] voice to fill up the synthy, minimal beat, using all the track’s open space to project personality everywhere. It’s a big, loud, brash, noisy song, and it’s perfect.”
And the praise only grew once the music video released. It’s known for featuring a real cheetah with Cardi in some of the shots.
The video was nominated at the BET Hip Hop Awards and iHeartRadio Music Awards. And the song was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 60th Grammy Awards. It won Single of the Year at the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, showing everyone that Cardi B was here to stay.
Feud With Azealia
Cardi B was the next big thing, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t speed bumps for her to get over. Cardi’s fiery personality rubbed some people the wrong way, which lead to arguments and, sometimes, full-blown fights.
Between social media feuds with Azealia Banks and fist-fights at a strip club, Cardi wasn’t here to play.
In the Azealia Banks feud, the combative rapper called Cardi out and called her a caricature of black women and illiterate. Cardi was quick to respond and ended her: “How smart are you if you don’t know the meaning of illiterate means to not know how to read or write. I can do both, and speak two languages fluently,” Cardi wrote in an Instagram post. “Just because I mix a few words up forget to use commas or misspell a few words doesn’t make me illiterate and doesn’t make me stupid.”
Feud with Nicki Minaj
But her most high-profile fight has to be with Nicki Minaj. At the annual Harper’s Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week, Cardi and Nicki got into an altercation.
She was seen yelling and throwing her show at Nicki before being restrained and escorted out. That now-famous shot of Cardi walking out with a giant lump on her head is the result of that fight.
Now the specifics of what caused the fight are unclear, but Cardi said it was because Nicki liked and unliked a tweet that was negative of Cardi’s parenting skills.
As some may know, Cardi’s the mother to a young daughter. Nicki denies it happened, so the truth may never be known.
End Of 2017
Despite the fights and other issues, Cardi B continued to rise. Her music became highly popular, as did the rapper. Fans loved that she would say whatever was on her mind, regardless of the situation or circumstances.
In October 2017 she headlined Power 105.1’s annual Powerhouse music celebration and in December she had already released a collaboration with Ozuna called “La Modelo.”
2018 only helped Cardi’s rise. In January, she partnered with Bruno Mars for his remix of “Finesse.” On January 18, she became the first woman with five top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart simultaneously.
Her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy”, was released on April 6 to rave reviews. Many critics listed it as one of the best albums of the year. Rolling Stone and Time even listed it as number one.
Her album featured multiple singles that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to have multiple songs top the charts. To top that up, Cardi was also the first female artist to have all of her tracks on the album be certified gold or higher by the RIAA.
The album was awarded Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, causing Cardi to be the first female rapper to win the award as a solo act.
At the 2019 BET Awards, it won Album of The Year.
Cardi B wasn’t just successful as an artist. Her personal life was also taking off. Cardi collaborated with rapper Offset on her song “Lick.”
They were also seen around together, which set off rumours of a romantic relationship. Their first date ended up being at the 2017 Super Bowl, yet the two denied that they were in a relationship for months, even when the two were spotting at sporting games together.
Eventually, the two tied the knot in a secret ceremony, as the only person there to support them was Cardi’s cousin. Fans would not find out that they had gotten married for almost a year.
Way to keep a secret!
What might have set fans off guard was the fact that Offset even publicly proposed to Cardi after they got married.
On April 7, 2018, Cardi revealed that she was pregnant during her appearance on Saturday Night Live. She wore a slim-fitting dress to show off her baby bump and the two are now the proud parents to a daughter, Kulture.
Oddly enough, to celebrate her birth, the two got matching Lamborghinis.
Unfortunately, on December 4, Cardi announced that the two had separated and were going to divorce. This would last till the end of January 2019, when Cardi told reporters that they were “working it out, baby.”
It wasn’t long before Cardi and Offset moved back in together in their Atlanta, Georgia home. and it seems like the two are happily raising their daughter together – so good for them!
It doesn’t look like Cardi’s going to stop anytime soon. She has 5 awards that she’s been nominated for, so she may be bringing home more trophies.
Overall, she’s been nominated 158 times and has won 89 times. This includes awards and nominations from the American Music Awards, the BET Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards.
Cardi has more songs lined up to be released, and she recently collaborated with Ed Sheeran on his latest album.
Cardi’s also dealing with some negative events in her life. She was indicted for felony attempted assault and lower-level harassment, conspiracy, and reckless endangerment for her role in two-strip club fights.
She pleaded not guilty, so who knows what will happen.
But Cardi hasn’t let it get to her and has continued to make music and be the artist everyone loves her for. It doesn’t look like Cardi is going anywhere for a very long time!