Cardi B had a number one hit single this summer with “Bodak Yellow.” PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Unarguably, 2017 has been the year of Cardi B, as the acclaimed female rapper who has transcended all expectations and become a force to reckoned with. Upon releasing her hit single “Bodak Yellow” this summer, Cardi B topped the charts and eventually became the first female rapper to go platinum since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Although this has been Cardi B’s year, life was not always a cakewalk for the rapper.

Before she was Cardi B, she was Belcalis Almanzar, a Dominican, Trinidadian girl from the Bronx. Cardi B grew up in small neighborhood with little to call her own. Her parents lived modest lives, and accumulated little wealth. She often time spent the days of her childhood in Washington Heights with her islander grandmother in what she describes as a small, but colorful house.

When Cardi was 19, she became an exotic dancer, a move which she says changed her life. Upon entering the field, Cardi became financially independent and worked her way out of an abusive relationship. Soon after becoming financially stable, she re-enrolled at a local college, but eventually dropped out as she began to become a social media icon via Vine and Instagram.

Before gaining notoriety in the music scene, Cardi B used Vine and Instagram to quickly become a no-filter social media celebrity. The Vine she is most known for is the iconic “A Hoe Never Get Cold” bit. In just six seconds, viewers everywhere fell in love with Cardi’s audacious lifestyle and “no BS” attitude.

In 2015, the social media celebrity began her musical career, appearing as a feature on Shaggy’s remix to his reggae single “Boom Boom.” A year later, Cardi released her debut mixtape “Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1,” officially beginning her career as a rapper. Along with her rap debut, Cardi B joined the cast of the music based reality TV series, “Love and Hip Hop: New York” during the show’s sixth season. During the two seasons Cardi appeared on the show, the series followed her shaky relationship with her incarcerated ex-boyfriend.

Eventually, Cardi left the show to focus on her musical career beyond “Love and Hip Hop: New York,” and signed a record deal with Atlantic Records. This June, Atlantic Records released “Bodak Yellow,” and Cardi began to top the charts and became a common name in the rap game.

Cardi B is a modern-day success story because although she came from humble beginnings, she is now living her best life as she continues to soar in the rap game. 2017 has been her year so far, and it is safe to say that there is no stopping Cardi B now.

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