Unless you’re over the age of 40 or live under a complete rock, you’ve probably heard something about the infamous Cardi B recently.
Belcalis Almanzar, better known by her professional name Cardi B, is arguably one of the hottest names in music, pop culture and social media right now.
Cardi released her debut album “Invasion of Privacy” on Friday, was the guest musical act on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and co-hosted “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Monday night.
The eventful weekend was even more monumental for Cardi, considering she revealed her pregnancy during her SNL performance.
Love her or hate her, Cardi is undoubtedly at the peak of her career – an unconventional journey that has taken her from the hood to Hollywood in the span of only a few years.
Born in the Bronx, Cardi was exposed to poverty and violence at a young age, even becoming a member of a gang at 16.
In an attempt to escape poverty and domestic violence, she began to work as a stripper, saving her money to pay for college and establish her own financial independence.
After appearing on a season of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: New York,” she began to receive serious media attention and eventually announced that she would be leaving the show to pursue a career in music.
After releasing a couple of mixtapes, Cardi first saw real success with her first commercial debut single “Bodak Yellow.”
I would bet that the average college student could recite the chorus of “Bodak Yellow” with no problem, but for those older folks who might not know how big a deal this song was, here’s some insight for you.
The song snatched the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 chart, making Cardi the first solo female rapper to do so since 1998.
It stayed there for three weeks, tying with Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” as the longest-running female song at the No. 1 spot in 2017.
The song has since gone quintuple platinum, which is incredibly impressive considering it was her debut single and is not a song that is necessarily radio or family friendly due to its extremely provocative lyrics.
The over-the-top lyrics and Cardi’s savage attitude are what make the song, and a majority of Cardi’s new album, work, however.
Cardi B is unapologetically herself — a born poor, ex-stripper from the Bronx who is taking over the music industry one raunchy rap song at a time.
I won’t lie and tell you that her music is revolutionary or that she is the best vocalist in the game, because that’s far from the case.
A majority of the songs on the new album are frankly not that good, and without a lot of the featured artists on the record, I feel like this album could’ve easily been a flop.
What saves Cardi is her ability to win over unlikely supportive audiences with her come up story, quirky personality and ironic authenticity. After each guest performance, interview and shout out she receives, more and more people are finding that this loud, flashy ex-stripper is the ultimate underdog that everyone wants to root for.
Everyone from Rihanna, to Diddy to Green Day has been calling out Cardi, congratulating her on the new album and vocalizing support for her career.
No matter how good or bad her music might be, it’s nearly impossible not to love this fun and unpredictable woman as she raps about going from the hood to wearing Red bottoms, fixing her teeth and making “money moves.”
While she might not be the most talented musician or the cleanest role model, Cardi B is quickly becoming America’s newest and most unusual sweetheart and I’m loving it.