Cardi B, sassy queen of American hip-hop

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US rapper Cardi B performs onstage during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. — AFP

Los Angeles — She's brash, she's loud, and America is all in for her special brand of sass, from online feuds to strip club brawls.

But when Cardi B accepted her first Grammy award -- making rap history in the process -- the 26-year-old had the crowd falling in love with her softer side.

On Sunday night in Los Angeles, the unstoppable Bronx native cemented her spot in the upper echelons of hip-hop as the first woman solo artist to win a Best Rap Album Grammy.

And she accepted the trophy with signature, unfiltered charm.

Visibly shaking, she spoke of the odds being stacked against her as she raced to complete her debut album "Invasion of Privacy" while pregnant with her first child.

She clutched her rapper husband, Offset, later turning to him: "You husband, thank you."

Born Belcalis Almanzar to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, Cardi B's unchartered rise to fame sparked during her days as a stripper, when she carved out a social media personality on platforms including Instagram.

Posting videos that saw her wax poetic on everything from cheating lovers to the qualities of the pancake chain restaurant IHOP, Cardi snagged a spot on the reality series "Love & Hip Hop," further amplifying her image.

"Hey, America, washpoppin'?" she said in her intro video for the show.

"You might know me as that annoying dancer on social media that be talking hella crazy, with the long nails and the big ol' titties, but I'm just a regular, degular, shmegular girl from the Bronx."

And thus the New Yorker began clocking her rapid ascent to stardom: as her profile grew, Cardi in 2015 gave up stripping to give rap a go. — AFP


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