Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy Album Review
Cardi B exudes confidence and showcases her versatility on her impressive debut album, Invasion of Privacy. Cardi B propelled herself into the national spotlight last year with her smash hit, “Bodak Yellow,” which spent weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998. But her career starts far earlier. Prior to becoming a chart-topping artist, she was a social media famous stripper who turned into a reality star on VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop. Throughout her debut album, Cardi B discusses what she had to navigate to get to her current position and she lets everyone know she doesn’t plan on going back. Throughout Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B’s authenticity, versatility and confidence are showcased and makes the album an enjoyable listen from start to finish.
Cardi B did not reach her current level of success without struggle. She revisits her past and lowest moments during her climb to success on this album as well. Cardi’s time as a stripper is well documented and many have judged her for it. On the first words off of the intro track “Get Up 10,” Cardi sets the record straight. “Look, they gave a b**** two options: strippin' or lose/ Used to dance in a club right across from my school/I said ‘dance’ not ‘f***’, don't get it confused.” Throughout Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B paints parallels between her life then and now, best exemplified when she raps, “Went from small-ass apartments to walkin' red carpet/ Pissy elevators, now every dress is tailored/ This some real-life fairy tale Binderella s***.”
Cardi is well aware of her new position in the world and has no problem letting you know it. On the second single from Invasion of Privacy, “Bartier Cardi,” Cardi asks, “Who you know drip like this?” and though many rappers brag about their standing, Cardi’s delivery puts her in a class of her own. Cardi B continues to stunt throughout the album and is unapologetic about how highly she regards herself, rapping, “Spent what I want, ain't no limit/ I say what I want, I ain't never been timid.” Hip hop has historically been dominated by males and Cardi B breaks the glass ceiling and disregards gender roles and raps many lyrics that some may feel are not “lady-like.”
Cardi raps, “I’m a gangster in a dress” on “I Do” and proves her knowledge of gangster-rap when she interpolates Project Pat’s 2001 song “Chickenhead” with her version “Bhickenhead,” this is not the only time Cardi looks back in time for inspiration on Invasion of Privacy. “I Like It,” which is a twist on the 1967 song “I Like It Like That” by Pete Rodriguez, has the greatest chance of becoming Cardi’s next hit. The song’s catchy chorus combined with the familiar sample and its influx of latin trap has all the ingredients to do well on the charts. The song also speaks to Cardi‘s versatility; her ability to successfully perform across genres is evident on this album, and “I Like It,“ showcases just how wide her range is.
To further disprove that she is just a rapper, Cardi becomes much more vulnerable on “Be Careful,” the third single released from Invasion of Privacy. It is another form of Cardi tackling her insecurities, this time caused by a cheating man, who many presume to be her fiancé Offset. Cardi raps, “You even got me trippin', you got me lookin' in the mirror different/ Thinkin' I'm flawed because you inconsistent.” But outside of these lyrics, Cardi says the song serves as a warning. Cardi angrily voices her displeasure with the situation and on “Thru Your Phone,” she might be providing insight as to how she found out about the situation. This song is another example of Cardi’s versatility and because Cardi has not veiled this controversy, it makes her all the more likeable to her fans.
For the most part, this album executes on almost every level, but one minor misstep is when Cardi chooses to sing on “Be Careful.” Her voice is not bad, but when comparing her singing to Kehlani and SZA - who are featured on the album - it begs the question as to why another artist was not brought in to sing the chorus.
Invasion of Privacy is one of the more impressive debuts in recent memory. It also is one of the more impressive hip hop albums of the year thus far. Cardi’s authenticity, versatility and confidence has gotten her to this point and she showcased how much potential she has. When she makes her next “money move,” the whole world will be watching.
Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.