O.G. Cardi stans like myself are quick to remind her newer fans that she was a star way before Mona Scott Young tapped her to be on Love & Hip-Hop, which she used as a springboard to start her music career. But even I have to admit that Cardi’s success in 2017 felt monumental, given her positioning as an Afro-Latina and former stripper from a poor family in the Bronx.
Her second mixtape, GBMV2, released in January 2017, included collaborations with a member of the most in demand hip-hop group, Migos’ Offset. She was signed to Atlantic Records a month later and toured with female rap icons, Remy Ma and Lil Kim. She secured nine nominations at the BET Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, and even snagged a cover on The Fader. Then “Bodak Yellow” happened. Officially released in June 2017, her infectious, record-breaking, chart-topping viral hit put her on the map, and her budding relationship with Offset helped her become a hip-hop household name. She kept the momentum going with features on G-Eazy’s “No Limit” and Migos’ “Motorsport.” While she's since wiped everything pre-May 2018, Cardi's hilarious, unfiltered and honest Instagram account played a big part in establishing her completely unprecedented, infectious and lovable personality to the masses.
But if we thought this was the peak of Cardi’s 15 minutes of fame, we were very wrong. Cardi came back in 2018 with even more star power. She’s been snatching our wigs, taking our breath away, and keeping her foot on our necks all year, and I have the receipts.