If you’ve never heard the name Cardi B, you’re either 90 years old, or you’re living completely off the grid in an isolated cabin in the woods somewhere. In the past five years, Cardi B has established herself as one of the most influential and popular rappers of this century.
Her career so far has been monumental and record-shattering. In this article, we recap all of her most impressive achievements so far.
Cardi’s Career: The Beginnings
Cardi B, also known as Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, was born in Manhattan, New York, and raised in the Bronx. Her career as a public figure began on the Internet. Around 2013, she began to gain prominence and virality on both Vine and Instagram. Her Internet fame opened the door to new opportunities—in 2015, she joined the cast of the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York. She appeared on the show until 2017.
2015 was a huge year for Cardi B. In addition to joining Love & Hip Hop, she also made her musical debut in November 2015, when she appeared on the remix to the song “Boom Boom” by Shaggy. Later that year, in December 2015, she made her music video debut in the video for the song “Cheap Ass Weave.”
Cardi B released her first mixtape, Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1, in March 2016. In January 2017, she released part two: Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2. Although these two mixtapes were not quite as popular or widely-known as her later work, they did attract the attention of the record label Atlantic Records. Cardi officially signed a deal with this company in late February of 2017.
Cardi B’s Hits
Shortly after signing with Atlantic Records, Cardi’s career began to skyrocket.
Cardi’s commercial debut single, “Bodak Yellow,” came out in June 2017. With this single, she entered the mainstream music world in full force. “Bodak Yellow” was a huge success, quickly becoming one of the most popular songs of the summer. Inspired by Kodak Black’s song “No Flockin,” Cardi’s first single captured all the confidence, charisma, and wit that longtime Cardi fans love so much.
In late September 2017, “Bodak Yellow” dethroned Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” for the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This achievement crowned Cardi B as the second-ever solo female rapper to reach that number one spot, preceded only by Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998.
Clearly, “Bodak Yellow” was an enormous success. Many publications cite the song as one of the most influential songs of the 2010s.
Even more impressive, Cardi became the first female rapper to land her first three song entries in a top 10 position on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. With “Bodak Yellow,” “No Limit,” and “MotorSport,” the last two of which are collaborations, she achieved this impressive feat.
The rapper followed up on this success by releasing her debut album’s second single, “Bartier Cardi,” in December 2017. Shortly after that, she was also featured on Bruno Mars’ remix of “Finesse,” appearing in the music video as well. After this song came out in January 2018, Cardi reached yet another record-breaking career milestone: she became the first woman to have five songs in the top ten of the Hip-Hop/R&B chart, all at the same time.
Cardi achieved this high level of commercial success before her debut album even came out. After releasing one more single, “Be Careful,” Cardi dropped her first studio album in April 2018. The 13-track album is titled Invasion of Privacy, and it features artists like Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, 21 Savage, SZA, and more.
Invasion of Privacy peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, and Cardi continued to break records. For example, the album broke the Guinness World Record for receiving the most streams on Apple Music of any album by a female artist in one week. In addition, in 2020, after spending 92 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, the album became the longest-charting debut album by a female rapper.
Clearly, Cardi B has made an enormous impact on the music industry since her career began in 2015. Since the release of her debut album, she has continued to gain career momentum and to cement her spot as one of the most influential rappers of this decade.
In July 2018, her song “I Like It,” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, peaked at number one on the Hot 100 chart. Soon after, in September 2018, the Maroon 5 song “Girls Like You,” which features Cardi, also peaked at number one.
At this point, Cardi had already received three No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 chart. Then, in 2020, she achieved her fourth number one hit with her song “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion. Released as a single from Cardi’s next album, “WAP” achieved instant success and widespread popularity. “WAP” has been hugely popular since its release, and it has also stirred a sizable amount of backlash from conservatives offended by the sexually explicit, sex-positive lyrics.
It is abundantly clear that Cardi B has already achieved unparalleled success in the music world. Fortunately, both fans and critics alike have recognized her talent as a rapper and a songwriter.
Cardi B has received countless awards for her music—too many to list right now. Notably, Invasion of Privacy was awarded the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2019. She has also won four American Music Awards, four BET awards, and eight Billboard Music Awards.
Cardi also received the award for Songwriter of the Year from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in both 2019 and 2020. She is the first woman to win this impressive honor twice.
Most recently, Cardi was named Woman of the Year at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. After receiving some backlash from critics, she posted a video on Instagram defending herself and her achievements. We have to agree with Cardi—her new title is more than well-deserved!
Cardi B has achieved remarkable things since the beginning of her career in 2015. She has broken too many records to count and too many awards to list. And, of course, she has achieved an impressive number of hits in her short career.
In case you lost track, here is a quick recap of Cardi B’s many, many hits.
- Four No. 1 Hits on Hot 100
- Eight Top Ten Hits on Hot 100
- 33 Songs in the Hot 100
- One No. 1 Album on Billboard 200
- Five No. 1 Hits on the R&B/Hip Hop Song Chart
With Cardi’s second album in the works, there is no doubt that she will continue making hits and breaking records. We can’t wait to see where she goes from here.