Fearless, truthful and absolutely badass, Cardi B grabs the bull by its horns with her new album, Invasion of Privacy, which she officially dropped Friday, April 6. This 13-track narrative features some of today’s top rap artist including Migos, Chance the Rapper, 21 Savage, SZA and YG. Within a week of its departure, this album placed Cardi at the top of the Billboard charts.
It’s expressive and diverse, a clear outlet in which she feels free to share her story with the world. Cardi reflects on her transformation from a stripper in the Bronx to one of today’s leading female solo rap artists. Additionally, she uses this album to target topics ranging from seemingly old boyfriends, to poverty and doubtful fans.
“Bodak Yellow,” the single that put Cardi’s name in the pop-culture mainstream, was also included in the album. However, it works more as a reminder of where she’s come from rather than a representation of her new work. It’s nearly impossible to recognize her in that song after listening to the new additions on the album. She highlights her hard work through thoughtful melodies that compliment her down-to-earth and honest lyrics.
Through this winning combination, she reminisces on her rags-to-riches circumstances leading up to the project. She reveals a somewhat vulnerable side of herself through clever anecdotes and personal reflections. Don’t be fooled by her sensibility though. She’s still tough as nails.
“Get up 10” talks about Cardi’s life as a stripper and the expectations she has for herself and those around her. This song might be the biggest weapon on the album, with self-confident lyrics like “Look myself in the mirror/I saw we gon’ win/knock me down nine times but I get up ten”. This is also one of her few songs without a feature on the album.
It’s unique in the way that she discloses a lot of personal details about her life, yet the song still emulates her popular and tough rebel persona. The music is layered with spacey production featuring a mix of atmospheric synths, airhorns and high-hats which play together to create a harsh background beat. This song also shows off her wide vocal range as well as her keen storytelling skills.
“Be Careful” is another featureless song on the album which showcases Cardi’s special way with words. It speaks high volumes about what she wants out of love and has a seamless flow of sound. She also shows off some surprisingly strong vocals as she includes verses of her singing softly amidst the hard sound of her verses.
The beat is buoyant and smooth. The song itself is a tastefully sweet touch to the collection. She also projects this sensitive part of herself in the song “Ring” featuring Kehlani. With a simple beat, Cardi relies heavily on her lyrics to carry the song along the slick production and the great Kehlani feature brings it full circle for another stand-out track.
Cardi B is just getting started. She simply dipped her toes into a world of possibilities and by the looks of this album, she will be swimming laps in the pool of great hip-hop talent.
You can contact CU Independent arts writer Amanda Bell at Amdanda.Bell@colorado.edu