The official Cardi B bio states that “Cardi B stands firmly on the motto ‘be yourself’ and ‘never apologize for being who you are’!” The breakout star of Love & Hip Hop Season Six (real name Belcalis Almanzar) certainly lives by those words: her frank and unapologetic ways have made her a fan favorite, and garnered her more than a million new Instagram followers since the show began airing its sixth season. The shade she’s thrown over the ongoing Peter Gunz and Tara Wallace (and Peter Gunz and Amina Buddafly) drama has delighted LHH fans exhausted by the constant drama of that particular love triangle.
To that end, though, no Cardi B bio would be complete without a look at the extent to which her career as a stripper has influenced Cardi B’s life. That influence has indeed been profound: the Cardi B bio update recently got a major renovation, thanks to a new interview in which the 23-year-old credits stripping for straight-up saving her life:
“I was poor as hell,” Cardi B explains. “I was living with my ex-boyfriend, who was beating my a**; I had to drop out of school. It was crazy.”
When asked to elaborate upon the domestic violence she suffered, Cardi became even more frank. “There’s the thing,” she began, “like, you know how b*tches love hitting guys, they love hitting n*ggas, like, ‘Oh my gosh, you cheated on me,’ they slap ’em? Well, guess what: that sh*t gonna come back all to you.
“You know how these little girls, they so quick to move [in] with their boyfriends,” Cardi went on, implying that she made the same mistake. “And then it’s like, once you do, you gotta deal with cooking for them every day, doing things right for them every day. You might deal with getting your a** beat every day….That’s the sh*t. It’s like, yup.”
And it was stripping that helped Cardi escape her situation: “getting [her] own money and leaving.” She added, “How was I gonna leave if I only made $200 every week?…[Stripping] really did [save my life]…a lot of people make it so negative, but it really saved me from a lot of things.”
In fact, it turns out that it was Cardi B’s old manager–at an Amish Market in New York City–who suggested that she get into stripping…after he had fired her. “The manager from the Amish Market place said, ‘You’re so pretty and you have such a nice body,'” Cardi recalled recently. “‘Why don’t you go across the street and work at Private Eyes?…He was really cool with the manager over there so he helped out. I went and it was just so amazing to me. In one day I made more than a week’s pay.”
However, in response to the question of whether she would recommend stripping to girls going through the same situation, Cardi was her typical no-holds-barred self:
No. Here’s the thing, right: before I started stripping, even though I was poor, I was very satisfied with the way I looked. I thought I had a nice face, I thought I had a nice body, and everything–until I started going to the strip club, and I started to feel, like, insecure. I don’t make as much money if I don’t have big boobs. Bam. I did boobs. I started working in hood clubs, I don’t make as much money if I don’t have a big a**….In the club, you’re like, almost invisible if you don’t [look] like that.
Not that Cardi doesn’t also have a sense of humor about her life and life’s work. One of the most widely distributed tale about her–the near-viral “Cardi B stripping on her period” story–is not only true, it’s something she talks about openly (skip ahead to 2:20 if you want the story straightaway):
“Something I’ve always been curious about,” one of the hosts begins–”when you have your period, do you strip?”
Cardi responds, “Have you ever heard a stripper say ‘I’m taking seven days off’? Never…”
“Who,” the host wonders, “has their period for seven days?”
But Cardi’s right there: “I do….I be mad as hell, but what am I gonna do?”
“So you’re bleeding for seven days,” the incredulous female host continues. “You put a tampon….I need to know! And you clamp and nothing comes out?”
“Nothing comes out,” shrieks a clearly pleased Cardi B.
The climax to the “Cardi B stripping on her period” story? Her response to the question of what to do with the string: “You tuck that sh*t in.” Classic Cardi.
Of course, no Cardi B bio update would be complete without a Cardi B photo gallery as well:
To keep up with Cardi B–and to see whether she’ll be dancing in your area–you can follow her on her assorted social media accounts:
And, of course, you can check her out on Love & Hip Hop, which airs Mondays at 8 PM EST on VH1.
(Photo credits: Cardi B bio via Instagram)