By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor
Key Tracks: “Get Up 10”, “Bickenhead”, “I Like It”
Y’all tired of Cardi B yet? I’m not, and for good reason. The 25-year-old Bronxite has been conquering the world one step at a time, from her recent SNL appearance, to her provocative and hysterical Instagram videos. The natural progression vis-a-vis her bombastic personality was to become a rap star, and surprise surprise, she’s great at that too. Invasion of Privacy, her first LP, is more of the charismatic magnetism that has propelled her to the top of the rap world, with wisely chosen features and a stylistic flair to boot.
Props to her producers, because the key feature of this album is the focused utilization of Cardi herself. She comes out punching on “Get Up 10”, challenging anyone who doubted her and proving that any sort of trepidation is asinine for such a confident persona. “Real bitch / Only thing fake is the boobs”? No one is delivering lines like this with such gusto and unbridled glee in being herself. There hasn’t been such an actualized rap debut since A$AP Rocky’s Live. Love. A$AP., and Cardi is pretty clearly a better rapper than Flacko. It’s a treat to watch Cardi work, all braggadocio and brash swagger just dunk on every generic rapper working alive, for her ethos has been making sure she’s better than everyone, and she’s gonna make the world know it.
It’s not all bravado though. Cardi makes herself vulnerable throughout the record, recognizing that as a public figure, her relationships and actions reflect on who she is as a person. This is best seen on “Be Careful”, where she alludes to an ex’s cheating and expounds, saying, “Be careful / Do you know what you doin?”, making sure that she’s not going to be trifled with again in her quest for love. It’s a noble narrative, blurring the line between reality and fiction, but stamping her namesake as the girl who will not be messed with.
It’s admirable that Invasion of Privacy is so varied and creative considering that one would think Cardi’s unleashed persona would be muzzled at this point in time. Yet, her mainstream identity has become her trademark, and we’re lucky to still have the stripper hoe, pussy-poppin’ Cardi of old, without any sort of censure or filters by way of record executives. Cardi B stays being as unpredictable and fun as ever on this album, and thank god for that.