Music Reviews

Album Review: Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

After her initial release of highly successful single ‘Bodak Yellow’ which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in a row, Cardi B continues to please her fans with her debut album Invasion of Privacy. Her last mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2 highlighted Cardi’s aggressive nature and authority, however, with the release of her new album, Cardi defies our expectations, as she demonstrates a more authentic and sensitive side of her character.

“The song sets out to tell a short story of Cardi’s life”

Invasion of Privacy kicks off with ‘Get up 10.’ A track which I would not have necessarily associated with Cardi B. The song sets out to tell a short story of Cardi’s life as she talks about her previous job as a stripper, a topic she revisits in many of her songs. She raps “I said dance not fuck, don’t get it confused, had to set the record straight ‘cause bitches love to assume.” This is her response to the constant criticism about being a stripper, defending her former profession as being nothing more than a dancer.

‘Get up 10’ is filled with powerful heartfelt lyrics, which compliment the slow and melodic musical backdrop. The production however is stripped down and the focus is clearly on Cardi’s words. As the track progresses, her rapping becomes more aggressive. Her words: “’Cause I don’t wanna hear no sneak dissin, ‘specially not from one of you weak bitches” emphasise her frustration with constant criticism, turning against them in an attempt to hold on to her superiority as a successful stripper and rapper.

“Cardi digs into her roots with a Latin-infused sound”

Although Invasion of Privacy starts off on a heavy, melancholic note, her album does have some lighter tracks. ‘I like it’ is, in my opinion, Cardi’s best and most authentic track to date. Over a sample of Pete Rodriguez’s classic ‘I like it like that,’ Cardi joins forces with the biggest Latin trap artists in the industry, Bad Bunny and J Balvin to deliver an energetic, carni-like sound.

The inclusion of Spanish lyrics reflects Cardi’s life. Growing up speaking Spanish in the Bronx with her Dominican Father and Trinidadian Mother, Cardi digs into her roots with a Latin-infused sound which I can guarantee will be blasted out by everyone this summer (myself included.)

Although I have praised Cardi’s music highly, there is one track I just cannot commend. ‘Drip’ starts off slow, with repetitive lyrics of “came through dripping”, “diamonds on my wrist” and “ice” frankly making the track sound like any other basic stereotypical RnB/Hip-hop tune.

Along with this, the track features Migos, (yes, again) who in my opinion add nothing to the track other than a reflection on the whole Cardi-Offset drama which has swamped our social media over the last year or so. Although the track has a catchy beat, the basicness of the lyrics leaves me let down overall by the track. Cardi’s musical range means she is capable of so much better- as shown by the rest of the tracks on her album.

“The track switches between aggressive beats and slow melodic tunes”

Speaking of Migos having influence on Cardi’s work, another of her tracks ‘Thru the phone’ is obviously a response to fiancé Offset’s cheating antics. The track switches between aggressive beats and slow melodic tunes to express Cardi’s conflicting feelings of anger but also pain and upset, allowing fans to see a more vulnerable side.

Cardi doesn’t have to say a lot to sum up this song other than the lyrics “I’ma make a bowl of cereal with a teaspoon of bleach, serve it to you like, ‘Here you go, nigga, bon appétit’.” A fair warning for Offset me thinks.

Cardi has already seen the early success of her album, with ‘Bodak Yellow’ and ‘Bardier Carti’ being played literally all the time, in every club and on every radio. (Not like I’m complaining.) However, in my opinion there are other tracks which deserve the limelight, and are hugely underrated. Two of them being ‘I like it’ and ‘I do.’

“The only issue I have is the placing of the track in the album.”

‘I do’ is a track which just screams success. With her inclusion of American RnB singer-songwriter SZA, the track balances melodic singing and Cardi’s rapping, resulting in a successful collaboration which showcases just how talented and distinct these artists are within the music industry. The only issue I have is the placing of the track in the album. The energy and distinctness of the track means it is better suited at the beginning or at least midway in the track list rather than having it as a final note.

Overall, other than Migos’ unnecessary input, there isn’t much more I can criticise on the album. The authenticity of the tracks along with Cardi being a lyrical genius means Invasion of Privacy is her best work to date. I for one will be listening to this for a very long time.


Emma Heasman

Image Courtesy of Cardi B Official Facebook page

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