4 Fascinating Facts About 'Bodak Yellow' Singer Cardi B — Like How She Became A Stripper To Escape Domestic Violence

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Bodak Yellow is the #1 song in the country right now.

This week, Cardi B made history by being the first song by a female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill in 1998. 

Her jam — because it's seriously a jam — "Bodak Yellow" knocked Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" for the number one spot and the world quickly realized girl was a force to be reckoned with. 

For those of you who aren't in the #BardiGang and are asking 'Who is Cardi B?" ... it may seem like her name and her music seemingly came out of the blue. Especially if you're like me and you've been listening to the same Nicki Minaj songs for, like, two years. 

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But she didn't just appear out of thin air. The 24-year-old's rise to the top has been one of perseverance, strength, and just not giving a f--k. 

Born Belcalis Almanzar, Cardi grew up with her family in the Bronx and spent most of her early years working at the Amish Market making about $200 a week.

Which is in stark contrast to her next gig as a stripper in a club across the street from the market called Private Eyes. 

“I told my mom that I was a dancer after a year and some change,” Almanzar told Complex, in 2015. “I was really mad at her so I screamed at her, ‘I’m a stripper!’ She was like, ‘Oh yeah?’ And pushed me down the staircase.”

While stripping, Cardi gained massive amounts of followers on Instagram and Vine with her insanely hilarious and relatable rants. Like the following gem from 2015: “It’s cold outside, but I’m still looking like a thotty ‘cause a ho never gets cold." 

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She eventually joined the "Love & Hip Hop" franchise where she quickly became everyone's favorite GIF. To say she's a genius with catchphrases would be an understatement. 

Cardi's rapping career began in 2015 and has been climbing ever since. Since I think it's pretty safe to say she isn't going anywhere, it's time we learned a little more about this internet sensation. 

Here are three things you probably didn't know about Cardi B. 

1. She started stripping to escape domestic violence. 

In an interview in 2016, Cardi B revealed that the reason she started stripping was so she could make enough money to live on her own and escape her abusive boyfriend.

"How was I going to leave if I only made $200 every week," she said. Though she said she wouldn't advise other girls to necessarily follow her lead, she said stripping saved her life and helped her go back to school. But once she started making a lot of money, she dropped out. 

2. But, she says stripping also made her feel very insecure.


The main reason she doesn't recommend stripping is because it made her feel insecure about her body. Cardi said she felt like she didn't have big enough boobs or a big enough butt, so she turned to plastic surgery in her early 20s. 

Which she also doesn't recommend. 

"I don't really know what's in my a-- right now," she said. "I could die, who knows." 

3. She's currently in a major beef with Azealia Banks. 

Banks recently went on a Twitter rant after Cardi's song topped charts and claimed she doesn't write her own songs, and that she sleeps with men in exchange for raps. 

Of course, no hard evidence of this accusation has been uncovered, but Cardi responded to the hate by posting a video of Banks singing "Bodak Yellow" in the club with comment: "One of the reasons Bodak Yellow when #1! Cuz even the HATERS love it!" 

Well played. 

4. But she's proud of her past and supports women doing whatever the hell they want. 

Cardi loves to take to social media to talk about female empowerment and gender equality. Which is just another reason why we love her. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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