Cardi B, one of the top female rappers on the Billboard charts, came to fame with the help of catchy recordings like “I Like It” featuring both Bad Bunny and J Balvin after signing to Atlantic Records. Not only did this recording pass one billion streams on Spotify, but it earned a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.
Over time, Cardi’s star gleamed even stronger, having collaborated with a variety of artists including Migos, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, Bruno Mars, Ozuna, Selena Gomez, and even Jennifer Lopez. Among her more famous recordings is “Money,” which captures her thoughts about making money and all the reasons she needs the green dollar bills. So how much money does Cardi actually have, and need, in order to support her financially elaborate life?
A Star is Born
Born Belcalis Almanzar, Cardi B grew up in the Bronx, New York City – specifically in the neighborhood of Highbridge – to a Trinidadian father and Dominican mother. While primarily identifying as Latina, Cardi B’s name is inspired, in part, by Arabic – she claims that her first and last name, both Spanish translations of Arabic words, mean Queen of Sheba (Belcalis) and watchtower or (Almanzar).
Eventually, Cardi’s friends would attribute a new nickname to her – Bacardi, after the famous rum drink. She would later shorten that nickname to Cardi – of which she now uses as her stage persona. Prior to her life as a celebrity, Cardi would garner a number of fans through her work as a stripper at New York Dolls, a famous New York City strip club.
She admitted years later in an interview with Khloe Kardashian that she kept her job as a stripper a secret from her mom for a long while. While she was making money dancing for men and women alike, Cardi’s mom thought that she was collecting an income by babysitting the children of rich New Yorkers. Her mom seemed to believe the story and was ecstatic that she was making so much money.
Cardi has also admitted in a number of interviews, including one of her most famous on the YouTube series VLAD, that she became a stripper to escape poverty and domestic violence, as well as to save money to go back to school. Cardi B explains that while she was initially embarrassed to strip, the money helped her get over that feeling very quickly. She claimed:
“After a while, I didn’t even care anymore. I was seeing money that I feel like I would’ve never seen ever. After I got good at it, there was nights where I would leave with $2,000 or $3,000. When I was 21, I had $20,000 saved up. When I was 22, I already had $35,000 saved — in singles.”
Love & Hip Hop and Paychecks
Shortly after working in a New York City strip club, Cardi was asked in 2015 to join the sixth season cast of one of VH1’s most popular shows, Love & Hip Hop: New York. While she was not making as much money as the highest paid series colleagues, Cardi B quickly became one of the most identifiable and relatable characters on the show.
Although it is not clear how much money Cardi made for her appearances, InTouch Weekly reported that the cast members make pretty good money for appearing on the show. For example, on the Atlanta franchise, castmates reportedly make anywhere between $17,000 per season to $400,000. It is likely possible that Cardi was making an amount near the upper range given that by 2016, Celebrity Net Worth was reporting her net worth was $400,000. After two seasons as a Love & Hip Hop cast member, Cardi B decided to make the hard decision to leave the show.
Record Deal Dollars
At the time, her Rap career appeared to be gaining traction, and she was worried that remaining on the show would not allow her to keep music as her focus. Between 2015 and 2017, Cardi B released her first and second mixtape. After Cardi released her second mixtape, Cardi was quickly signed to Atlantic Records. By 2017, following the release of her single “Bodak Yellow” reports indicated that her wealth had risen to $4 million dollars – especially after her record deal. At the time, Cardi told The Fader Magazine:
“They gave the right number, so I chose them. It was significantly more than other [deals].”
Spraying That Money
Cardi has so much money that she finds all sorts of elaborate ways to spend it. Cardi B has admitted that one of the most enjoyable ways to spend her money is by buying her husband – Offset of the rap groups Migos –expensive gifts. For example, during one of Offset’s many birthdays, Cardi decided to give him an unusual birthday gift – though, likely not that unusual for rich celebrities. When he came into the kitchen, he found a total of $500,000 stacked inside a fridge.
During his 26th birthday, Cardi B spoiled Offset by buying him a Rolls Royce Wraith worth $320,500 and a gold Wraith watch to match it. One of the other expensive purchases was the matching Lamborghinis that she bought for herself and Offset. To prove how much the vehicles set her back, Cardi posted a photo of her bank. So how much did the two cars cost exactly? A whopping $548,736.97!
When discussing how much money she spends on herself, Cardi told her fans that she has to spend between $250,000 and $300,000 to look as good as she does. Perhaps one of her most expensive purchases other than the engagement ring her husband bought for her – a Lola Bunny Chain priced at $400,000 that consisted of 110 diamond carats.
Aside from spending money on her family – as in the case of her $5.8 million-dollar mansion in Atlanta – Cardi also supports other members of her family. In an interview, Cardi admitted that like many of her rap peers, she takes care of her entire family. She even joked that being the family care-taker is not tax deductible because the IRS doesn’t consider that act a business.
In order to pay for her expenses and that of her family (extended and otherwise), Cardi likely has to make close to one million dollars a month. This amount also includes the $20,000 a month that she collects as a result of her endorsements from Fashion Nova, Pepsi commercials and Amazon’s Alexa.
As Cardi B began performing at big festivals, she found it shocking how much artists make versus how much their stage show costs. Ahead of last year’s Coachella, Cardi B admitted that she would be taking home $70,000 for each of her performances at the festival. And yet, despite that cost, she also claimed that her entire set would cost her $300,000. This shock extended to her feelings on taxes. Cardi told the press that the IRS takes 45% out of her earnings automatically. She then deducted that in order to spend $500,000, she has got to at least make a million dollars.
As of 2020, it has been estimated that Cardi B is worth an estimated $24 million as a result of her music, acting ventures, and even her fashion and product collaborations.