Her rise to fame has been described as both a modern fairy tale and the millennial manifestation of the American Dream. Cardi B became the first female rapper in 19 years (Lauryn Hill was the last to do it) to reach the number one spot on the US Billboard chart. Moreover, she was the first rapper ever to have three singles in the top 10 – and she was the first female rapper to attain multiple number-one songs on the chart. Her debut album made its debut at the top spot in the US, and she broke several streaming records. Ultimately, TIME Cardi B her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Born Belcalis Almanzar to a Dominican father and a Trinidadian mother, this 26-year-old New Yorker’s ascent to fame has been meteoric, even by today’s standards.
It is a trajectory that moves from college drop-out to Bloods gang member to stripper to Instagram influencer to reality star to hot shot rapper with vocal support of bigwigs like Missy Elliott and Nicki Minaj, and whose songs are being covered by Janet Jackson.
In 2018, following a number of mixtapes and collabs, Cardi B finally dropped her debut album, something the whole world had been waiting for. Invasion of Privacy places her right in the pantheon of great rappers. It is both brazen and vulnerable, filled with wild amounts of personality, style and craft. It’s not wonder that Invasion of Privacy ended up topping many end of year list.
Cardi B first became a rap royalty thanks to the inescapable hit song “Bodak Yellow”. She showed from the start that she’s capable of delivering razor-sharp lines with weight and punch, delivered with a thick Bronx accent on top of intense banger beats. Besides her hits “Bodak Yellow”, “Motorsport” with Migos and Nicki Minaj, and G-Eazy’s “No Limit” with A$AP Rocky, she had released two Gangsta Bitch Music mixtapes.
She proves she works a lot of styles: from old school together with Bruno Mars, over boom bap and doing those Atlanta triplets.
By embracing her past and adding an ‘I don’t give a f***’ attitude, Cardi B is everything pop music needs right now. And when she plays Roskilde Festival, you’d better be there!