She might not be the queen of rap yet, but Cardi B is wearing the crown now.
Cardi B has been the talk of the industry since her breakout single “Bodak Yellow” shot up the charts last year which helped her solidified her name among female rappers. Even though her first single was a surefire hit, many still doubted her ability to surpass being a one-hit wonder. However, she proved her haters wrong time and time again that she’s here to stay with her numerous features alongside big-name artists like Migos, G-Eazy, and Bruno Mars. She stretched even further to prove her skills as an artist with follow-up singles “Bartier Cardi,” “Be Careful,” and “Drip” all featured on the album. Even with all this success and large buzz behind her name, critics still questioned whether she would be able to deliver a solid debut album (myself included).
She must’ve took heed to the doubt and made sure she followed through because her debut album is a for sure missile. Whether you hate her or love her, you have to admit Cardi B is on top of the female rap game right now. ‘Invasion of Privacy’ meshes together 13 solid tracks that vary in style while Cardi B’s bares it all on each song. As her official introduction to mainstream music, Cardi B’s debut album is filled with gritty, raw rhymes that flex her signature finesse over a slew of versatile beats. She gives us a taste of everything from her Latina roots and trap flair to a softer side of her where she delves into her past and current relationships.
Her success story is one of the most compelling life stories we’ve heard of in a while. The Bronx native has an almost exact rags to riches story as she went from stripping in clubs to starring on hit reality TV show ‘Love & Hip Hop: New York’ to being the best new artist of 2017. Although we all know her story, she made sure she cleared up everything fans and haters have been speculating about on the intro song to the album called “Get Up 10.” The beat and flow for the track are daringly similar to that of Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” and Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out” with the melodic piano keys playing in the background and blaring siren sounding off in the background. She sets the record straight on her past by giving us bars sharp as knives and switches her flow to accommodate her trash-talking all over the track.
“Used to dance in a club right across from my school / I said ‘dance’ not ‘f*ck’, don’t get confused / Had to set the record straight ’cause b*tches love to assume.” – “Get Up 10”
With a chilling intro song for the album, she then proceeds to give us up-beat club tracks like “Drip,” “Money Bag,” and “She Bad.” Another hot track off the album is “Bickenhead” which is a play on Project Pat’s original song “Chickenhead.” This song uses a heavy sample from the OG, but Cardi flips it by turning it into a get money anthem for women and adopts his flow while doing it. For her own rendition of the hit, she succeeded and it’s probably a fan favorite among her female audience.
“That guap, guap, get some chicken, guap, guap, get some bread / Guap, guap, get some chicken, guap, guap, get some bread.” – “Bickenhead”
“Be Careful,” her most recent cut off the album, is a new side of Cardi that we haven’t seen yet. Over a gentle beat, she throws a lot of shade at a cheating lover and delivers a sing-song chorus, a complete 180 from her usual hard-hitting flows. “Ring” featuring Kehlani and “Thru Your Phone” are also songs that focus on the emotional side of Cardi where she shows some vulnerability while discussing relationships and past lovers. Her song with Chance the Rapper called “Best Life” is one of the cooler tracks off the album, nothing really exciting about it, but you appreciate it for the Chance feature.
Finally we get to the Latino flair on the album. “I Like It” featuring J Balvin and Bad Bunny is arguably the next big track off the album – you heard it here first. The song uses a small sample of Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 boogaloo song “I Like It Like That,” but puts a new spin on it to give a trap feel. The song is a spicy cut off the album and has all the potential to climb up the charts. The last song on the album, “I Do” featuring SZA, was a great closer to an incredible project. We get trap SZA on this track and her contributions to the hook are the highlight of the song. The Murda-Beatz produced song is a statement of independence and a message that you should do whatever you want because you can do just that, without the input of anyone else.
“I’m a gangsta in a dress, I’m a bully in the bed/ Only time that I’m a lady is when I lay these hoes to rest.” – “I Do”
Cardi B without a doubt gave us a remarkable debut album that balanced out her personality perfectly with her signature flow, straight-to-the-point bars, and Bronx style. The concept of the album was well thought out and communicated everything she felt we needed to know for now. The production was amazing and the features were strategic to each track as well. We see why the album was delayed for months and I’m sure the fans appreciate all the thought and hard work that went into making this music. ‘
Invasion of Privacy’ was a career-defining moment for Cardi B and was honestly her end all be all. Just when the world started to doubt her is when she really started to win. With a phenomenal debut album out and a baby on the way, Cardi B is truly winning at life period. This album only makes us crave more from the Bronx native.