CARDI B GOES
FROM THE BODEGA TO THE BILLBOARD CHARTS
ON INVASION OF PRIVACY
If you have ever read my music reviews before, then you know that I typically start them off by providing a bit of context about an artist in order to explain their rise to success; however, writing a review for Cardi B doesn’t require the traditional format because her journey has been far from traditional.
Let me explain.
There’s nothing customary about a stripper with a non-enhanced ass turning into a reality-TV star, then transforming once more into a sought-out artist who has accumulated one No. 1 Hit (“Bodak Yellow”) and four more Top 20 Hits (“No Limit,” “Motorsport,” “Finesse,” and “Bartier Cardi)”. Additionally, there is nothing standard about a Dominican woman “poppin’ shit like a dude” on an album neither. Yet, Cardi B has managed to accomplish all of this and much more on her brand-new, Invasion of Privacy.
On the first track “Get Up 10,” the boogie down Bronx MC channels her inner Meek Mill (#FreeMeek) by creating a tone-setting opening declaration that evokes a feeling similar to that of “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro).” The track serves as a highlight on the album because it alludes to a juxtaposition of extremes: being trapped at the bottom and stuck with limitations, then breaking out of the box and flourishing to the upper-echelon against all odds. In the song, you can hear Cardi’s rhythmic smearing of words be delivered with a passion in her voice that mounts with a sense of urgency as the beat builds, then finally explodes!
What proceeds the raw, blunt, and penetrating power of the intro track on Invasion of Privacy is 12 songs that really showcase Cardi B’s promise as a top-tier rap prospect. She shows off an impressive range of talent over the course of the album; moreover, she provides witty and humorous one-liners, emotionally-driven demands, and an intoxicating flow that is less choppy than it was on earlier releases like, Gangsta Bitch Music: Vol. 1 & 2. While lead singles such as: “Bodak Yellow” and Bartier Cardi” have easily helped Invasion of Privacy reach Certified Gold status just a weekend after its release, it will be the album tracks that people will pay attention to and will eventually drive sales further.
One standout song to me is “Bickenhead.” The song builds on Cardi’s fondness of southern rap, as she incorporates Project Pat’s wildly popular hood anthem “Chickenhead” and also gives it up to Trick Daddy Dollars when she encourages women to “Make that pussy slip and slide like you from the 305.” Another song rap fans will cherish, especially women, is “Be Careful” largely in part to Lauryn Hill’s bridge in the classic “Ex-Factor,” that Cardi uses to remake the nostalgic hook: “Care for me, care for me / Always said that you’d be there for me, there for me / Boy, you better treat me carefully, carefully.”
The album has the potential to do numbers simply because nearly every song sounds like a hit. On “I Like It,” Cardi taps into her Hispanic roots and samples the infectious salsa hit of the past by Peter Rodriguez. Then there’s the quasi-ballad type songs “Ring” and “I Do,” which are assisted by two of the biggest names in music currently, Kehlani and SZA. Lastly, there are the trap anthems like “She Bad,” in which Bloody Bardi teams up with gang-gang member YG, as well as, the song “Drip” featuring the Migos who leave stains on every track they’re on.
Once the 48 minutes of Invasion of Privacy conclude what you are left with is satisfaction, which is a rare feeling to experience after listening to an album these days. Cardi B’s official debut to the world is an oral narrative that will be remembered in time because of its honesty, charm, and vulnerability. It plays like one long story of an underdog, who despite being written-off, succeeded and got to the “schmoney!”