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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.

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