Last night, Cardi B released her debut album. The Bronx native, infamous for her ghetto-fab vibes and her filter-less vocab, has been teasing fans with the release of an album since her Grammy-nominated song, "Bodak Yellow", made waves around the country. The song showcased Cardi in a gangster chick light, who could be heard telling her man she would be quick to cut him off if he did her wrong.
That's why Invasion of Privacy was a shock to fans everywhere. Cardi let fans see her in a totally new light; one where we could listen to her emotions and feelings, one that rapped about heart break and the come up. For the past months, Cardi had been documenting her experience creating music and recording songs for the album on Instagram. From sleeping at the studio, not going to bed until 6am, falling extremely ill, and having to deal with a potential pregnancy, it seems Cardi went through Hell on Earth to get this tape out.
With that being said, all the hard work she had to put in seems to have paid off. Social media users everywhere applauded Cardi for including features from the likes of SZA, YG, Chance the Rapper, Bad Bunny, and more. With that being said, on the 13 track album, 7 songs have no feature and it's just Cardi spitting bars which is impressive considering she's only really been in the game for about a year now. Now, while accepting her award at the iHeartRadio awards, Cardi unexpectedly announced she was dropping her album in April.
Although anticipation was light and there wasn't much discussion preceding the album, the third single (after "Bodak Yellow" and "Bardier Cardi", respectively) she dropped, "Be Careful", garnered mixed reviews. In the song, we could hear Cardi sample Lauryn Hill and spit lyrics such as, "I wanna get married, like the Curries, Steph and Ayesha shit, But we more like Belly, Tommy and Keisha shit/Gave you TLC, you wanna creep and shit/Poured out my whole heart to a piece of shit". Although Cardi does rap the verses, she sings the chorus herself which, in combination with the softer beat, makes the song seem like more of an RnB track than a rap or hip-hop track. Many claimed that Cardi should've featured an artist such as SZA or Kehlani instead but I think using her own voice on the chorus made the song more authentic and raw. You could basically tell that Cardi didn't really care about anyone's feelings except her own with the track and she wasn't looking for perfection, just transparency.
Although many were disappointed with "Be Careful", the rest of Invasion of Privacy reminded fans everywhere why they fell in love with the rags-to-riches superstar in the first place. Although, Cardi kept on with the trend of showcasing her heartbreak feelings, she still had a couple bad bitch anthems on the track list such as "Money Bag", "Bickenhead", "Drip", and "She Bad". Production and quality of the songs were definitely up to par and so were her lyrics. For example, in a song such as "Get Up 10", Cardi tells the story of her upbringing and her journey from a stripper to an award-winning rapper.
Contrarily, Cardi's more emotional songs such as "Ring" and "Thru Your Phone", were also surprisingly really good. "Thru Your Phone" is, personally, my favorite song on the entire album because it's just so genuine; it makes me want to break up with my boyfriend just so I can also wallow in sadness with Cardi. An interesting fact about this song is that it's actually Cardi singing the chorus and she sounds amazing; you wouldn't think that it's actually Cardi, the regular, degular, schmegular girl from the Bronx. That said, you could tell the lyrics were genuine and true to her feelings; although she's denied multiple times that the songs are about her fiancé, Offset, you really begin to wonder who hurt Cardi to the extent she speaks of in her lyrics. Normally masked by a gangster bitch persona, to have Cardi really pour her heart out in these lyrics was an entirely different experience.
All in all, the album was really, really good for a debut album. Cardi let her fans see a more personal and emotional side of her, something female rappers are often scrutinized for. One of the only flaws I could really point out in her album was the mastering; it just didn't sound as professional or as clear as you would expect for a star of her caliber. On top of that, in some songs, you could tell that she was sick because she had that plugged nose sound so it just sounded off. That said, she's still in the first year of her career so she has a long way to go before everything she drops is as good as gold.
Cardi says it best; her "little 15 minutes lasted long as Hell, huh?" and this album proves she's definitely here to stay.
Album rating: 8.2/10
Songs to check out: "Thru Your Phone", "She Bad", "Get Up By 10", "Ring"
Listen to Invasion of Privacy on all streaming platforms today!
September 10, 2018
August 17, 2018