clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Angela Weiss / Getty

Filed under:

Cardi B — the rapping sensation who used the internet to build fame on her own terms

Cardi B is No. 38 on the Recode 100.

Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Cardi B is the first female rapper to score a solo No. 1 hit since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” nearly two decades ago. How’d she do it?

Credit, in large part, her incredibly savvy use of social media and media, period: She leveraged viral videos into an appearance on a VH1 reality TV show, and turned that into a massive following on Instagram, where she shares ... everything.

You can also credit her rag-to-riches story: Cardi B is a Bronx-born 25-year-old daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Trinidad, who once worked as an exotic dancer. She’s proud of her background — but even more excited about where she is now. In her words: “I don't dance now, I make money moves.” It’s an anthem for 2017.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.