Cardi B’s come-up reads like a 2010s Cinderella story. In just a handful of years, the sharp-tongued New Yorker went from viral Instagram phenom to one of hip-hop’s most exciting voices, establishing herself as a bossed-up feminist icon along the way. Born Belcalis Almanzar in the South Bronx in 1992, Cardi got a job as a stripper at 19, quickly building a social media following—in addition to her devotees at the club—for her viral videos and hilarious catchphrases. In 2015, she scored a spot on VH1’s drama-filled reality show Love & Hip Hop: New York, where her brash personality turned her into an immediate fan favorite among her more established costars. That same over-the-top charisma made Cardi a natural fit for rap dominance; witty, unfiltered, and totally fearless, her early tracks doubled as mantras for self-made women who put themselves first. But it was “Bodak Yellow” that launched Cardi into superstardom; a trap anthem that rang out from cars and clubs throughout 2017, it begging you to shout along. Her 2018 debut album, Invasion of Privacy, fused the Latin music of her childhood with hardcore New York hustlers' anthems, and squashed any doubts as to whether Cardi was here to stay. Meanwhile, her scene-stealing guest verses span the pop charts, from Bruno Mars (“Finesse [Remix]”) to Ozuna (“La Modelo”) to Maroon 5 (“Girls Like You”). Not bad for a self-proclaimed regular girl from The Bronx.