A Timeline Of Cardi B’s Meteoric Rise To Fame – See Every Moment From The Start! – Perez Hilton
Cardi B has got some serious star power!
It’s been amazing to see just how much the 26-year-old entertainer has grown and evolved since she first started making headlines less than two years ago.
Yep, that’s right. Can you believe that Bardi’s hit single, Bodak Yellow, dropped in 2017?!
We know there’s so much more in store for Offset’s wife; her reign as the rap game’s most commercially successful female artist (sorry, Nicki Minaj) has truly just begun.
We’ve compiled a list of the most important moments along Cardi B’s meteoric rise to fame! Ch-ch-check it out (below):
1992: A Star Is Born!
October 11, 1992 – A ‘Regular, Degular, Schemgular’ Girl From The Bronx
It’s only right that we start at the very beginning! Belcalis Almanzar was born in the Bronx, NY, to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother. She picked up the nickname “Bacardi” at a young age, mirroring her sister Hennessy Carolina‘s alcohol-themed moniker. It later became simply Cardi B, and stuck like glue!
Belcalis showed an interest in music pretty early on, by performing in high school talent shows and entertaining her peers whenever possible. Part of Cardi’s early years included working at a supermarket in Lower Manhattan. Upon being fired from her job, she took her old boss’ suggestion and started working at a strip club across the street.
Those countless nights spent dancing for cash actually helped create the badass, outspoken woman we know today. She’s since credited her time as a dancer in multiple interviews as a means to an end, and a necessary moment for survival. She said the same of her decision to become a member of the Bloods gang, too.
2013-2017: Career Beginnings & Early Breakout Moments
2013 – Cardi B Starts Going Viral
The woman sure knows how to entertain! All eyes were on Cardi after her hilarious and unfiltered videos started popping up all over Instagram and Vine. She used the social media platforms to speak her mind on taboo topics related to men, money, and her experiences as a stripper. She also made it very clear from the jump, that she is 100 percent a feminist! Oh, and the candid NSFW confessionals are still happening today, too.
November 2015 – Cardi B’s Musical Debut On The Remix to Popcaan & Shaggy’s Boom Boom
In 2015, Belcalis hit the studio to lay down a verse on Shaggy‘s dancehall track, Boom Boom. Although her flow wasn’t fully developed yet, she did drop a couple of icy, memorable lines like this one (below):
“You better empty your pockets, I’m talking heavy deposits/ Cardi Bartier got it, so you gon’ have to pay homage.”
December 2015 – Cardi B Joins The Cast of Love & Hip Hop New York
It didn’t take long for Cardi to become the break-out star and fan favorite of season 6 of VH1’s hit reality TV show Love & Hip Hop New York. The reason why is simple: the Bronx stripper kept the same sass and unfiltered commentary from her social media with her when she finally made it to the small screen. Way to always keep it real, okurrr!
After two seasons on LHHNY, Cardi went on to announce that she’d be leaving the show to focus on furthering her musical career. Here we go, y’all!
December 15, 2015 – Cardi’s Official Music Video Debut In The Visuals For Cheap Ass Weave
Cardi made her official music video debut when she dropped the visuals to her single, Cheap Ass Weave. Long before the well-produced flare of her more recent videos, we see our girl rapping in what looks a like a make-shift nail salon in a broom closet for many scenes. Yikes! Talk about humble beginnings, ha!
March 7, 2016 – Cardi Drops Her First Mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1
Just before officially exiting LHHNY, Cardi dropped her first mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1. The 13-track project showcased the young rapper’s growing lyrical abilities and just how serious she was about taking the leap of doing music full time. The mixtape’s most recognizable hit, Foreva (above), featured a catchy hook and beat that signaled mainstream appeal early on. Hardly a Bodak Yellow, but still pretty impressive for the time! The rapper would go on to release Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2 at the top of 2017 and ink a deal with Atlantic Records months later.
January 31, 2017 – Cardi B Guest Stars On BET’s Being Mary Jane
Belcalis proved she can do more than spit one liners and hilarious quips on reality TV when she became a a guest star on BET‘s Being Mary Jane. The Bardi Gang was no doubt filled with joy when Cardi killed it as the loud and outspoken fictional character “Mercedes” for an episode in season four. Nice!
June 2017 – Cardi B and Offset Start Dating As Her Career Takes Off!
2017 was truly the year things came together for Bardi. Months before she released the song that would go on to change her life, rumors began to swirl that Cardi and Migos rapper, Offset, were an item. Prior to that point, the duo had teamed up for a track called Lick. The pair coyly denied their relationship at first, but by May of that year, Kulture Kiari Cephus‘ parents made their MET Gala debut together, all but confirming their relationship. Offset went on to publicly propose to his love on October 27 that same year, at the Power 99 Powerhouse concert in Philadelphia. It was revealed later that they tied the knot in a secret ceremony.
Their union proved to be as important to Cardi’s personal life as it was to her musical career. The duo would go on to collaborate several times more on chart-topping tracks like Motorsport, Drip, Who Want The Smoke? and Clout.
Speaking on her professional and personal relationship with Offset, Cardi previously told The Fader:
“It’s been a blessing, me meeting him and meeting his friends. I see how hard they work. And that motivated me to work even harder. And I see how good things are going for them and how popping it is to be number one. And I’m like, I want that. A lot of people just see they jewelry and they money, but I don’t think a lot of people see how hard they work for that shit every single day.”
Their personal relationship would go on to encounter some bumps down the road — including nearly divorcing each other at one point in 2018 — but ultimately survive and thrive. On July 10, 2018, the couple welcomed their first child together, a baby girl named Kulture. We have a feeling these two aren’t done making music (and babies!) anytime soon.
June 16, 2017 – The Release Of Bodak Yellow
The single that did it all! Atlantic Records drops Cardi’s first commercial single, Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) and it quickly made its way to the top of the Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart just one month later. The hard-hitting, bad bitch anthem was hard not to love, and could be heard blaring from just about every speaker possible the summer it came out.
When the song reached number one, it made Belcalis the first solo female rapper to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in nearly 20 years. The last woman to do it was Lauren Hill in 1998 with Doo-Wop (That Thing).
But despite the single’s monumental success, many were concerned that our girl would be a one-hit wonder once the hype died down. What came next — including scoring two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song Best Rap Performance for the single — proved that Cardi is in fact here to stay!
2018-Present: ‘Invasion Of Privacy’, A Baby, Coachella & More!
January 2018 – Bruno Mars & Cardi B Team Up For Finesse (Remix)
The crossover pop hit certainly helped make Cardi B a household name and showcase her mainstream appeal. Her verse on the track is fun and in your face, while Bruno Mars delivers the funk and soul. The old school ’90s beat and accompanying visuals mixed with the entertainers’ natural chemistry together made for certified Billboard success!
April 6, 2018 – Invasion Of Privacy Is Released
The success of Cardi’s debut studio album proved she was a commercial force to be reckoned with! Although it was more of a hip-hop album than anything else, it expertly put the rapper’s many talents (including singing!) on display while telling her come up story, straight from the heart. Invasion Of Privacy debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, and sold 255,000 equivalent album units overall in its first week.
Check out more impressive records broken by the debut album:
- 100 million streams on Apple Music within its first week setting the record for most first-week plays for a female artist (previously held by Taylor Swift).
- Apple Music’s fifth most streamed album of all time.
- I Like It helped make Cardi the first woman to have three number one singles (including Girls Like You and Motorsport) on the Billboard chart.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Cardi currently has the most simultaneous Billboard U.S. Hot 100 entries by a woman — a record previously held by Beyoncé!
April 16, 2018 – Bardi Brings Her Baby Bump To Coachella!
Unlike festival headliner Beyoncé, the Bartier Cardi rapper didn’t let her pregnancy stop her from tearing up her first set ever at Coachella in 2018. The high-energy performance was full of twerking and multiple surprise guest appearances, including G-Eazy, Chance The Rapper, 21 Savage and Kehlani, from start to finish!
April 19, 2018 – TIME Names Cardi B As One Of The 100 Most Influential People
Just days after Cardi lit up the stage at Coachella, it was announced that she scored a spot on the 2018 TIME‘s Most Influential List. For the special issue, the publication uses another high-profile star to speak on behalf of the honoree. In this case, Empire star Taraji P. Henson shared what she thought made Cardi a breakout star, and then quickly a household name.
The Golden Globe winning actress wrote:
“When her mixtape came out, I thought, That’s it. She found it! She’s clear on her talent, and she’s not trying to get in anybody else’s lane. She recorded “Bodak Yellow” because it’s what she loved. Now she’s the biggest thing in music. And even with all those eyeballs watching, she’s still unapologetically herself. Cardi B’s here to stay, baby, and I’m happy to be a witness.”
It’s clear that Cardi B’s transparency and authentic realness is celebrated!
September 2018 – Cardi B Announces A Collaboration With Fashion Nova
We know our girl loves her some Money, and her collaboration with the internet’s largest fast fashion brand brought her plenty of it! Considering how her peers like Rihanna and Beyoncé have also used their star power to venture into the fashion industry, we gotta say, this was a major move by Cardi. It paid off too, as a second collaboration between the two debuted on FN.com on May 8, 2019.
January 23, 2019 – Cardi B Lands Her First Las Vegas Residency
2019 kicked off with some pretty amazing news for the Drip rapper. It was announced that she would begin a new residency at day and nightclub KAOS at the Palms Casino Resort in Vegas in April. Other exciting artists like G-Eazy, Skrillex and Kaskade also have residencies at the Sin City hot spot.
February 3, 2019 – The Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial Starring Steve Carell And Cardi B!
It’s hard to name a bigger televised moment than the NFL Super Bowl (and its highly-anticipated commercials). So, when Kulture‘s mother scored a primetime spot with the event’s largest, longtime sponsor Pepsi — alongside Steve Carell — it became crystal clear that Cardi’s star cache had reached new levels.
Even still, the choice to participate in any part of the national football league’s biggest night was met with criticism and backlash from fans who felt Cardi should’ve known better. Especially considering her staunch, vocal support of Colin Kapernick‘s controversial open protest against racial injustice and police brutality that was challenged by the NFL. But Cardi did turn down the offer to perform alongside Maroon 5 at the halftime show for their single, Girls Like You, so shouldn’t that count for something? You tell us, Perezcious readers!
February 10, 2019 – Invasion Of Privacy Earns Multiple Grammy Nods …And Wins Big!
The entertainer’s debut album Invasion Of Privacy won Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards, beating out Mac Miller (Swimming), Nipsey Hussle (Victory Lap), Pusha T (Daytona) and Travis Scott (Astroworld) for the precious award! The achievement made her the first female solo artist to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album. She celebrated with a rousing performance of her singles that same night.
The Recording Academy recognized Cardi with five nominations on the night, including Album Of The Year, Best Rap Performance (Be Careful), Song Of The Year (I Like It) and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her Maroon 5 collab on Girls Like You. A major, major career milestone indeed! And we have to say, we absolutely loved the bold, vintage Mugler red carpet number (above)!
What’s Next For Cardi B?
March 2019 – Cardi Files A Trademark For ‘Okurrr’
It was reported that Bardi filed paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office this year to trademark her signature phrase — with two different spellings — so it could be used for “clothing, namely, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, pants, shorts, jackets, footwear, headgear, namely, hats and caps, blouses, bodysuits, dresses, jumpsuits, leggings, skirts, sweaters, undergarments.”
But a source exclusively shared with us that Broadway actress Laura Bell Bundy beat her to it, and filed the same paper work months prior with the intention of giving all proceeds to charity. A judge has yet to rule in favor of either woman’s petition, but we are feeling the idea of more Cardi merch in general though! We can’t wait to see what kind of apparel our girl comes up with on her own!
March 2019 – Cardi Inks A Deal To Star In Her First Feature Film Called Hustlers
BIG, big news! Cardi is set to appear in a film called Hustlers, co-produced by her costar Jennifer Lopez. The project is about a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. How? By drugging and robbing them while knocked out. Yep!
A powerhouse cast of strong women including Constance Wu, Riverdale‘s Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, and Keke Palmer will join is expected to begin production in April in New York City. We can’t wait to see her on the big screen!
May 8, 2019 – A Second Collaboration With Fashion Nova And Cardi B
The second FNxCardi collection did remarkably better than the first, bringing in $1 million in the first 24 hours of being on sale! Despite ordering nearly five times the amount of inventory for “Season 2” of the 107-piece spring/summer collection, the fast-fashion company struggled to meet early demand as the majority of pieces already sold out instantly after launch. It’s clear the people want more of your unique fashionable taste, Cardi!
May 2019 – Cardi Keeps Winning More Billboard Music Awards
Cardi B lead all nominees at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards with a whopping 21 nominees in 18 categories, just a few nods shy of tying the record set by Drake and The Chainsmokers, who each scored 22 noms in 2017. The rapper took home six trophies, winning in the categories for Top Rap Female Artist and Top Rap Song (I Like It), while her feature on Maroon 5‘s Girls Like You snagged the Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song and Top Collaboration awards. Congratulations, girl!
In a recent interview with ET, Cardi B coyly hinted at plans of venturing into beauty industry (Kylie Jenner, watch out!) and other unnamed projects in the works. When asked about the future of her brand, she confidently told the outlet:
“I see everything. I feel like I can accomplish anything and everything. So it’s just like… whatever I set my mind to do, I can do it. Whatever it is.”
We’ll continue to keep our eyes peeled for more career updates from the desk of Cardi B!
In the meantime, let’s enjoy…