Belcalis Almanzar, better known as Cardi B, is a Bronx-born rapper that has risen to stake a claim in the music industry with her hit music and is beloved on social media by her millions of followers. Her no-filter commentary about different topics has made her one of the industry’s most entertaining and relatable celebrities. She has hustled for many years to have a positive career trajectory. Cardi B has had an interesting life story, from working at the Amish market to becoming a stripper to clinching the throne as the Billboard Hot 100 Queen. The rapper has amassed a $40 million net worth through her music and social media presence.

Her successful career began in the South Bronx, where she grew up in a poor part of town. As one of the biggest female rappers globally, her story is about perseverance and never giving up. Let’s take a look at how Cardi B struggled her way to the top.

The Manhattan Hustle

A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib)

Known for her distinctive New York street slang and Spanish accent, Cardi B grew up surrounded by multicultural influences. Her mother is from Trinidad, while her father is from the Dominican Republic. Living in a Latino neighborhood allowed her to be around various ethnicities, as noted by Harper’s Bazar. She is proud of her roots and acknowledges the South Bronx to be an essential part of her success.

As a teenager, Cardi B worked as a cashier at the Amish Market in TriBeCa, earning $250/week until she was fired from her job when the market manager suggested that she should try her hand at stripping. At the age of 19, fired from her job, she started working at New York Dolls strip club, where she earned $100 a day. The rapper lied to her mother that she was babysitting children to earn her cash while working the job.

Cardi B is grateful for her career as a stripper that she credits to saving her life. After working at lucrative spots in Manhattan, the rapper became financially stable with her job. She was in an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend who she left after earning enough money to survive by herself. While working as a stripper, Cardi B slowly gained Internet fame on Vine, Instagram, and Twitter. According to Money, her charisma and funny anecdotes about men and love life made her viral on the internet.

Beginning Of A Music Career

After becoming an Instagram Influencer and hosting club events, Cardi B became a reality star when she earned a spot on the sixth season of the VH1 show Love & Hip Hop: New York. She stayed on the show for two seasons and became infamous for her feud with fellow contestant Swift. Her lines from the beef went viral and inspired her to release her first mixtape, titled Foreva.

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Cardi B quit the show to get some momentum with her music career. She released a few remixes and singles for a few years, and in 2016, she released her first full-length mixtape. The following year, she signed a mega-deal with the record label company Atlantic Records and released her debut single Bodak Yellow.

In one of the most contested battles in Billboard Hot 100, Bodak Yellow landed on the Number 1 spot on the charts, leaving behind Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do. Cardi B became the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill in 1998 to reign at the top spot, as stated by Rolling Stone. After the hit debut single, there was no looking back for Cardi B.

Onwards And Upwards

Since then, Cardi B has released one studio album, Invasion of Privacy, and two solo mixtapes. As a lead artist, she has made 90 million record sales in the United States. She is the sixth best selling female digital artist. With smashing hits like WAP, I Like It, Girls Like You, and Up, Cardi B has earned an international fan base following her success. As mentioned by BBC, she became the first female solo artist in history to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album for Invasion of Privacy.

Along with making millions from her songs, she earned $1 million per show when she conducted the 2019 Arena Tour, a first for any female rapper. Cardi B earns millions from her brand endorsements with Amazon, Fashion Nova, Pepsi, Balenciaga, Steve Madden, and Reebok. Her music and endorsements have only increased her followers and popularity on social media, with 166 million Instagram followers currently under her belt.

From being a stripper in Manhattan, being on reality shows to becoming an Instagram influencer, and releasing hit singles, Cardi B has always managed to be authentic to herself. Everyone adores her natural charm and humor. The rapper was recently seen hosting the 2021 AMAs, where she won the award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Song for Up.

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Sources: Harper’s Bazar, Money, Rolling Stone, BBC

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