Cardi B is celebrating her 30th birthday today and the American rapper has come a long way since her pre-fame days.

Before entering the spotlight, 

Cardi became a stripper to escape poverty and domestic violence, but she later began to gain publicity with a number of viral social media videos before making her musical debut on the remix of Shaggy’s single Boom Boom.

The WAP singer would go on to begin releasing her own music and had her first big hit with Bodak Yellow in 2017.

Since then, she’s gone on to have huge global success, which has seen her take home a 

Grammy Award, eight Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness World Records, six American Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, six BET Awards and 14 BET Hip Hop Awards.

Her 2019 Grammy win even saw her become the first female to ever win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.

But despite this massive success, Cardi’s climb to the top hasn’t come without its troubles and the star has been involved in some pretty controversial moments during her rapping career.

Here’s some of Cardi B’s biggest controversies.

Confirming her gang connections

After dropping Bodak Yellow in 2017, Cardi’s debut major-label single that contained the lyrics “these is bloody shoes”, rumours started to spiral that Cardi was affiliated with the LA street gang the Bloods, and more specifically the Brim set.

In 2018 Cardi confirmed that she had been in the gang during an interview with GQ.

She said: “When I was 16 years old, I used to hang out with a lot of Bloods. I used to pop off with my homies. And they’d say, ‘Yo, you really get it poppin’. You should come home. You should turn Blood.’ And I did. Yes, I did.”

Revealing why she’d never talked about her gang affiliation before, she explained: “I never really wanted to talk about that, because I always wanted a music deal. I always want to keep my endorsements.”

But she also advised others not to follow in her footsteps, adding: “If somebody was to tell me right now, ‘I want to join a gang,’ I would tell them that it’s a waste of your money, it’s a waste of your time. And then you can never leave it.”

Drugging and robbing men

Cardi B 'drugged and robbed men' when working as a stripper
Cardi apologised for actions in a statement posted on social media (Image: Instagram/iamcardib)

Cardi B has been open about the stripping career she had before entering the music industry, but in 2019 she faced criticism after an old Instagram live video recirculated on social media.

In the video, which was made in response to someone who said she didn’t deserve her success, she revealed that she had “drugged” and “robbed” men while working as a stripper.

She said: “I had to go strip. I had to go ‘Oh yeah, you wanna f**k me? Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go back to this hotel’. And I drugged n****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was mothaf***in’ handed to me, my n***a. Nothing.”

The comments caused outrage and later Cardi responded to the video in a statement posted to her Twitter and Instagram.

She said: “I never claim to be perfect or come from a perfect world wit a perfect past I always speak my truth I always own my sh*t.

“I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”

She also added: “I did what I had to do to survive.”

Fight with Nicky Minaj

Cardi B could be seen lunging for Nicki
Cardi B could be seen lunging for Nicki

In 2018, Cardi made headlines for an infamous confrontation with Nicki Minaj at New York Fashion Week.

In a video that went viral on social media, Cardi could be seen lunging at Minaj while security held her back, and it was reported that she had thrown her shoe at her fellow rapper.

In another video, Cardi was then seen being escorted from the venue with a large bump on her head.

Later addressing the fight in an Instagram post, Cardi claimed that she’d confronted Minaj because of comments she’d made about her daughter.

She said: “I’ve let a lot of sh*t slide! I let you sneak diss me, I let you lie on me, I let you attempt to stop my bags, f**k up the way I eat!”

“But when you mention my child, you choose to like comments about me as a mother, make comments about my abilities to take care of my daughter is when all bets are f**kin off!”

In an interview on Beats 1’s Queen Radio, Minaj addressed the fight, saying that it was “something so mortifying and so humiliating to go through in front of a bunch [of] upper-echelon people who have their life together. The way they passed by, looking at this disgusting commotion—I was mortified”.

Strip club assault convictions

US rapper and songwriter Cardi B departs Queens County Criminal Court in New York on September 15, 2022. - Cardi B appeared in court for a hearing regarding charges of assaulting two strippers
She pleaded guilty to assaulting two strippers (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Cardi’s latest controversy came to a head in September 2022 when she pleaded guilty to assault charges relating to a fight in a New York strip club back in 2018.

The rapper pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree assault and a charge of reckless endangerment in the second degree, while 10 other charges were dismissed.

She swerved jail time for the crimes and was instead sentenced to 15 days of community service.

Back in October 2018, Cardi turned herself into the police after being involved in a fight at Angels strip club in Queens.

Two women who worked at the club accused the singer of attacking them with bottles and chairs, and claimed that the attack was due to accusations that one of them had had an affair with her husband, rapper Offset.

Offset cheating scandal and fake sex tape

Cardi B, Offset backstage at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas
Offset and Cardi were embroiled in a sex tape scandal in 2017 (Image: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

In December 2017, Cardi’s husband Offset was caught cheating on her when hackers gained access to his iCloud account and leaked a video of the rapper filming a naked woman that wasn’t Cardi.

Explicit videos of Cardi were also leaked and shared on social media.

In response, Cardi and Offset pretended to have sex during an Instagram live video in a joke about the situation.

However, after being accused of actually having sex during the live by outraged fans, Cardi had to clear up the controversy, confirming that they were both fully clothed throughout the whole video.

She wrote on her Instagram story at the time: “I was fully clothes on live, I was not f**king on live! Yaaa can’t be that slow!”

She also later addressed the leaked explicit videos of her, writing on Twitter: “People keep posting the nude videos of me like if I wasn’t a stripper before.”

Adding: “Anyways I know I got a nice body right.”

In 2018 Cardi announced that she and Offset had split, however in 2019 they got back together, with Cardi telling Vogue: “I believe in forgiveness. I prayed on it. Me and my husband, we prayed on it. We had priests come to us. And we just came to an understanding like bro, it’s really us against the world.”

In September 2020 Cardi filed for divorce but by November she had called the divorce off and then pair are still married.