What Cardi B’s mega success tells us about the power of social media in 2017


The way we receive content has obviously changed over the last few years, and Cardi B has benefited from it.

Previously, we’d watch TV and read magazines and newspapers to find out what is going on in the world. Today, we have the world in the palm of our hands. That’s the consumer’s end of the spectrum, but for the producer, it’s a different story.

Cardi B is someone whose career has sky rocketed this year thanks to all of that social media consumption. Whether you’re a fan or not, you’ve either heard of her name, seen her face, or have heard her hit song “Bodak Yellow.”

Cardi B, 25, born Belcalis Almanzar, is of Trinidadian and Dominican descent. Before the fame and music success, the Bronx native was a stripper at 19, then became a social media influencer for her authenticity and raw talk on Instagram at the age of 21.


A post shared by Cardi B Official IG (@iamcardib) on

Her social media is her, unfiltered. Some might even say she is outrageous, but her strong sense of self is what got her exactly where she is now. With topics about men, women, sex, her former stripper life, and fame, she has no limits, and that’s what has drawn her followers in.

“Don’t be a ‘Why her and not me?’ type of bitch… Be a ‘Shit, well if she could do it, I could do it too’ bitch.”

Image: Thaddaeus McAdams/WireImage

In 2015, two years after having had established a persona on Instagram, her fame transcended over to her reality TV phase when she became a breakout star in VH1’s Love & Hip-hop: New York. Eventually, more people took notice of Cardi B, increasing her social media following.

What makes Cardi B’s rise to fame so special is that she was just one of us, using an outlet we all use, to get her ahead in life. She was a regular girl, struggling to pay her bills and began to pave a way for herself all thanks to a camera, app, and that magnetic charisma of hers.

Ultimately, what her rise says about our society today is that if you’re creative, unapologetic, and hardworking, social media gives you a greater chance to succeed.

A prominent factor about who she is, is that she tells it how it is. She’s not ashamed of her past, she is humble, and is big on supporting others, unless she has a valid reason. That’s the kind of voice she has always projected on her Instagram videos and tweets. People pick up on that, admire the realness, and become inspired by it.

If you begin to forget how powerful social media really is, think of her as an example. It’s an outlet to convey whatever you want and turn it into your own personal brand, if you wish. The use of social networks isn’t just about connecting with just your friends anymore, but also about reaching a multitude of people to make a change. 

Cardi B has been everywhere this past year. She has more than 14 million Instagram followers, she’s on the radio, she’s collaborating with other major hip-hop artists like G-Eazy, and her fiancé’s group, Migos, and she’s singing in Spanish. She’s on the cover of major magazines, she’s had the number one Billboard song, and if she wasn’t on your feed before, she is now.

Image: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

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