Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, popularly known as Cardi B is a very good example of an artiste who took the quickest route to fame and success. As at some 2 years ago when I watched her song “Bodak Yellow” on TV, I didn't know she was set to take the industry by storm, I just knew I was into the song, a great rap song and that was all I thought about her, I didn’t even pay attention to her name. The day I knew she was fast becoming a sensation was at a hangout back in September 2017. I arrived late as a result of a last minute decision about attending alongside the famous Lagos state traffic. It was set to be an overnight hangout it was around 11pm before I got there, upon entering the apartment I found people already looking all tired and bored. I immediately put in on myself to make sure the place was brought back to life by interacting round with everyone, then went to the music player to increase the volume of the music. At first, people were still reluctant to stand up and dance but I pulled up those who wouldn't stand up, by the time the second song came on, the atmosphere was already getting charged up with positive energy. I quickly went off to grab a drink when I heard all of them screaming, I rushed back and found everyone jumping, shouting, dancing as Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" blared out loudly from the speakers. Subconsciously, I found myself joining them, jumping as I sang out the lyrics at the top of my voice, lyrics I didn't even realize that I knew until that moment. Seeing everyone's reactions that day made me realize that CardI B was not just an artiste whose song plays on the TV, she was swiftly becoming the new sensation in town. Following the success of this song, she went on to release her debut studio album in 2018 titled Invasion Of Privacy. With songs like "Bodak Yellow" and "I Like It" which were earlier released as singles, being included on the album, Invasion Of Privacy debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200. Invasion Of Privacy was nominated for Album of the year and Best Rap album of the year and it went on to win the latter at the 61st edition of the Grammy awards while songs from the album also got Grammy Awards nominations. "I Like It" was nominated for Record of the Year, "Be Careful" was nominated for Best Rap Performance while "Bodak Yellow" got nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance in the previous edition which was the 60th edition of the Grammy awards. This album further established Cardi B's success in the music business, especially in rap music as her fans wasted no time in trying to dethrone Nicki Minaj, the Queen of rap at that time. Following her Grammy awards victory, a very big argument ensued on the Internet, twitter especially, about how Cardi B had now earned herself the title "Queen of Rap" due to the fact that she was the first female rapper to ever win Best Rap Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. Nicki Minaj's fans would not have any of that and this triggered a huge brawl on the Internet. At first, I was pro Cardi B about the argument because Nicki Minaj has never won a Grammy Award, then I went back to when Nicki was in her prime and I saw the heavyweights rappers that she went up toe to toe against, I had a change of mind as to who the real "Queen of rap" really is. I'm not trying to discredit Cardi B's success at the Grammy Awards at all but if we were to compare whom they both were up against in their prime, it would only be fair to agree that Nicki Minaj is the "Queen of Rap". Due to these arguments, many people including fans and fellow artistes came out questioning how Cardi B had managed to win the award especially in that category that she had won it. Cardi B in her usual manner would not take all the discredit and criticisms sitting down. She took to her social media pages to talk about how much effort she put into making the album and about how the award was well deserved. Well deserved or not, history would always remember her as the first female rapper to ever win in that category and she did that with her debut album, sensational.
12 albums, 92 tracks
Over the last few years Hip Hop has seen a huge divide between the younger generation and Hip Hop veterans. With the emergence of artists like Lil Yachty, Migos, and Lil Uzi Vert to name a few, older artists that saw the height of their fame over a decade ago, felt it necessary to unfairly judge their younger artists for their style of Hip Hop. During the time, I must admit I was mostly siding on the side of the vets. I grew up on many of these artists and I grew to learn to appreciate Hip Hop in a different way. As time has passed, I still have an affinity for a certain type of rap. However, I have been able to see the value that many of these newer acts bring to the table, not only musically, but to the culture as a whole. Traditionally speaking, when it comes to rap, I enjoy, those that can truly craft verses that display their skill and intelligence. What I view as most important is the way they can put words together. Oh, and most importantly, they MUST write their own raps. Today, the current generation, doesn’t value that in the same way. We’ve seen Drake be able to move forward without missing a step after the leaks of his reference records. In addition, numerous rumors and reports have surface that perhaps, the biggest female artist in Hip Hop right now also doesn’t write the majority of her own music, Cardi B. While I know this is the case, I can still appreciate her for what she is and what she brings to the culture. Normally, I’m hesitant to embrace these types of artist that are more displayed as products and not artists at all, but when her debut album Invasion of Privacy released, I couldn’t help but rush to listen and I’m glad I did.
It’s a feint, distant memory, but if I think back hard enough, I can still recall a time when Cardi B being a rapper at all was considered a joke, let alone a successful one. Back then, her name was synonymous mainly with Love & Hip-Hop: New York, perhaps along with some of the old videos she’d post on Vine. She made her musical debut in late 2015 and due to her fame, she got a following fairly quickly, but she wasn’t taken seriously for a while. That of course changed with the release of “Bodak Yellow” in the summer of 2017. The song was an anthem and quickly became one of the biggest records out. When she came out at OVO Fest to perform it, the crowd went crazy and she received one of the best receptions on a night that boasted surprise performances from Tory Lanez, Migos and Travis Scott. It felt as though the transition had taken place overnight, but it was years of persistence and hard work. Drake called it the record of the year that night and it was hard to disagree. Despite the fact that Cardi’s background was previously a drawback for her, it now became a reason to root for her, as fans saw themselves in her. She was down to earth and easy to get behind. Social media started to passionately campaign for her, wanting her to get a #1 record with “Bodak Yellow” and on September 25th, that goal was reached. Cardi B became the first female rapper to reach the top of the charts with a solo record since the legendary Lauryn Hill did it in 1998.
In 2015 I was on a date that I thought was a sure thing. (Spoiler Alert: It Wasn't.) For at least 2 weeks before this date we were texting everyday all day - we had inside jokes and we were both very excited to meet each other. When we finally did, we talked for hours about a ton of things - most importantly we discussed a stripper on Instagram who was "HILARIOUS". I promised I'd give her page a look and we went our separate ways (didn’t kiss). A couple days later, the girl told me she felt no connection and I never saw her again; however I did follow the Stripper.
Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, sounds like something you would hear from one of J.K Rowling's best-selling Harry Potter novels, but it is the name of the bilingual, hit-making sensation known as Cardi B. The former American stripper turned internet sensation, television personality, rapper, singer and songwriter was born on the 11th of October, 1992, to a Dominican father and a Spanish-Trinidadian mother in the Bronx borough of New York, where she was also raised. After her high school education, she worked as an employee in a market before quitting and turning to stripping at the age of 19. Cardi B said that becoming a stripper was a positive for her life in many ways, stating that she became a stripper in order to escape poverty and domestic violence, having been in an abusive relationship at the time and it gave her the courage to leave that toxic situation and also motivated her to get a college education. "It really saved me from a lot of things. When I started stripping, I went back to school" said the rapper. She attended Borough of Manhattan Community College for a while before dropping out. It was during this phase of her life that she acquired the stage name "Cardi B" which was derived from Bacardi, a popular brand of rum which was her then stage name. The name which people used to call her in strip clubs birthed that which today is a household name worldwide!
After Resisting this Album the Hype Period of Its Release I’m Forced to Reconcile An Alleged Significant Piece of “Hip/Hop” Culture
I don’t take pride in the fact that I left myself behind with the experience of Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy, I mean just the title freaks me out a little. Truth is I’m very selective with what I raise hype around musically and Cardi B’s brand has not been anything close. Not only that but she’s the mere competition of Nicki Minaj (for the moment being that is), and that's just being a frankly honest as I can be as to why am I so late to Invasion of Privacy. I care a lot about Rap & Hip/Hop so I do take it to heart what these musicians claim their about so I can clearly dodge the bullet or bless my music experience. One thing that has been working for Cardi B though, is the team behind her music meaning co-writers and her producers. A lot of times these co-production folks get left out of the hype when everyone is so busy trying to commercially uplift the star. Another thing that has worked for her commercial consumption is her gang related background (specifically the ‘Blood’ gang culture), past mixtapes, and her stripper past which have all been documented in a proliferate fashion. She was already very present online for a lot of people before her “Bodak Yellow” single even jumped off because she had already been so well relatable with her different lifestyles. Those are mostly a lot of the elements that has kept me away from the content, embarrassingly enough, as I’m not into celebrating “pussy popping” or popping pills I mean come on “pussy popping in a church” that’s on a whole nother dynamic and I just can’t. Also Cardi B in this album had to prove her part that she could compete with the guys (not really sure if she succeeded) because that’s something Nicki Minaj is known for in which Cardi B wants to be like so bad.
Official Music Videos
Static Image Video
- Jun 21, 2019Cardi B Indicted in Strip Club Fight in Queens
- May 22, 2019Brace Yourself for Cardi B's 'Bocktail' Empire
- May 16, 2019Cardi B has a message for moms: 'Stop leaving your kids with ya boyfriends! PERIOD.'
- May 07, 2019Let’s Lock It Up Because Cardi B Just Shut Down the 2019 Met Gala in Her Elaborate Bloody Gown
- Mar 27, 2019News anchor tries to say 'Okurrr' like Cardi Bs and fails hilariously
- Mar 26, 2019Cardi B Says She Drugged, Robbed Men As A Stripper
- Feb 19, 2019Cardi B says that she is 'really disappointed' in Jussie Smollett following reports that he may have staged his alleged attack
- Feb 13, 2019Lady Gaga Defends ‘Brave’ Cardi B After Grammy Backlash: ‘You Deserve Awards’
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Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York City, she became an Internet celebrity after several of her posts and videos went viral on Vine and Instagram. From 2015 to 2017, she appeared as a regular cast member on the VH1 reality television series Love & Hip Hop: New York to follow her music aspirations, and released two mixtapes—Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
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