Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, songwriter, and actress who has made a significant impact on the music industry with her bold personality and distinctive musical style. Cardi B’s rise to fame is a story of determination and resilience. Despite the challenges and controversies she has faced, Cardi B’s career continues to flourish, with her remaining a significant and influential figure in the music industry and beyond.

Early life and career beginnings

Born in New York City on October 11, 1992, in to a Dominican father (Carlos) and Trinidadian mother (Clara), Cardi B’s early life was marked by challenges, including poverty and violence.

Born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, Cardi B grew up in the Highbridge neighborhood in South Bronx – although she did return to Washington Heights a lot to spend time in her paternal grandmother’s home.

Cardi B’s sister Hennessy Carolina was born in 1995.

Teenage years

Cardi B has stated that she became a member of the gang Bloods at age 16.

She attended the Renaissance High School for Musical Theater & Technology, a vocational high school on the Herbert H. Lehman High School campus.

In her teens, she worked at a grocery store in Tribeca. When she was 19 years old, she was fired from the grocery store and began working as a stripper at a club across the street from the store. Cardi B has stated that stripping helped her escape from an abusive relationship and poverty, a decision she openly discusses as having saved her life by allowing her to become financially independent, escape negative situations and go back to school. She attended Borough of Manhattan Community College before eventually dropping out.

Early musical success

Her internet fame began to take off in 2013 when she started creating and sharing videos on Vine and Instagram, where her no-filter attitude, humor, and honesty about her life earned her a substantial following. Her social media presence led to her being cast on the VH1 reality TV series “Love & Hip Hop: New York,” where she appeared in seasons 6 and 7, further increasing her visibility.

Cardi B’s musical career began to take shape in 2015 with the release of her first mixtape, “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1,” followed by a second volume in 2017. However, it was her debut commercial single “Bodak Yellow” released in June 2017, that catapulted her to stardom. The track reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her the second female rapper to top the chart with a solo output, following Lauryn Hill in 1998.

Her debut studio album, “Invasion of Privacy,” released in April 2018, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and received critical acclaim. The album broke several streaming records, was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, making Cardi B the first woman to win the award as a solo artist. Cardi B’s first studio album Invasion of Privacy is chiefly a hip hop record, with elements from trap, R&B and Latin music.

The stage name Cardi B

The stage name Cardi B is a derivation of Bacardi, a rum brand that used to be her nickname.

Lyrical themes

Cardi B is known for her aggressive flow and candid lyrics, which often discuss themes of empowerment, wealth, and her experiences as a woman in the music industry. Her unapologetic persona and willingness to address personal and social issues openly have resonated with a broad audience, making her a prominent figure in contemporary hip-hop and popular culture.

Influence beyond music

Beyond music, Cardi B has made her mark in fashion, television, and politics, using her platform to advocate for political awareness and social justice issues. Her impact on entertainment and culture has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations, solidifying her position as one of the most influential artists of her generation.

Personal life


Cardi B identifies as Afro-Latina and Afro-Caribbean. Her mother Clara is from Trinidad and her father Carlos is from the Dominican Republic.


Cardi B defines herself as a practicing Catholic.


Cardi B identifies as bisexual.

Marriage and children

Cardi B and the rapper Offset (Kiari Kendrell Cephus) began dating in early 2017 and got married in private in September that year. A month later, while still keeping the wedding a secret, they staged a public proposal at Power 99’s Powerhouse in Philadelphia.

In April 2018, Cardi B revealed her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live.

In June, TMZ found the 2017 marriage license and the secret wedding became publicly known.

Cardi B gave birth to the daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus on July 10, 2018.

In June 2021, Cardi B revealed that she was pregnant with her second child. On September 4, 2021, she gave birth to the son Wave Set Cephus.

The relationship with Offset has been tumultous with several break-ups. In December 2023, Cardi B announced that she was single.