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.