Thoughts on Cardi B’s inspiring debut album

By CLAIRE BEAVER | April 19, 2018

B4_Cardi B
TOW/CC BY 2.0 Cardi B is following up on the success of her breakout single “Bodak Yellow.”

Cardi B’s first full-length studio album Invasion of Privacy had been out for a week when it reached number one on the Billboard 200 albums list and became the most-streamed album by a female performing artist on Apple Music.

Cardi B’s skyrocket to fame is well deserved if somewhat sudden. She was born and raised in the Bronx and worked as a stripper, gaining fame for talking about this on her social media in a candid way. She was also a cast member of the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York from 2015 to 2016 and began gathering her following at this point.

Cardi eventually left the show to pursue her music career (thank God) and worked her way up in the music industry, releasing two mixtapes: Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1 and Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

She is now the first female rapper to be number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Lauryn Hill in 1998.

Cardi B is reshaping hip hop to her own liking and hasn’t changed since we first saw her arrive on the scene. For starters, Cardi is blunt. She says what she thinks in her interviews and on her social media, which is something surprisingly refreshing in today’s day and age. By bringing this to her lyrics, she makes her music relatable.

Cardi B has had an amazing few years, from releasing her hit singles “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” in 2017 to her feature on a remix of Bruno Mars’ new song, “Finesse,” in January 2018, and it seems like she won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Her album Invasion of Privacy is a combination of rap, R&B and pop that meshes into one of the most unique and exciting albums thus far in 2018. It features a great number of popular artists including Migos, Chance the Rapper, SZA, Kehlani, 21 Savage and many more.

Cardi B puts herself into her music, using her own personal backstory and heartache to create an album full of ups and downs. “Be Careful” is one of the more candid songs on the album about heartbreak and infidelity in a relationship. One particularly striking portion of the song goes, “You even got me trippin’, you got me lookin’ in the mirror different / Thinkin’ I’m flawed because you inconsistent / Between a rock and a hard place, the mud and the dirt / It’s gon’ hurt me to hate you, but lovin’ you’s worse.” I’m not going to lie; I listened to that part six times in a row.

“Ring” is another song on the album about heartbreak, and it features Kehlani on the chorus singing of a lover who won’t respond to texts or calls — something every millennial can relate to. Cardi and Kehlani’s voices are like butter, blending together perfectly and legitimizing a trend that seems to be common in today’s dating scene.

Despite Cardi B’s success and quick rise to fame, she never comes off as fake. So many celebrities get caught up in the physical possessions and money and fame, and they forget who they are, but Cardi doesn’t let it get to her. 

She was featured on an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and she literally explained one of the noises she makes in her songs (okuuuuurrr) as a “cold pigeon” — she isn’t afraid to poke fun at herself, and the audience loves her for it.

In promoting the album, she also appeared on an episode of Saturday Night Live as a musical guest. In a sketch featured in the episode, comedian and cast member Aidy Bryant played “Aidy B,” a more empowered version of herself, to say the least. Though the sketch is exaggerated, Cardi again doesn’t shy away from her own upfront personality, and she uses it as an opportunity to empower other women and girls to say what’s on their mind and do what they feel like doing.

Invasion of Privacy is one of those albums that doesn’t miss a beat; every song is different and provocative, Cardi’s voice is unique, and the lyrics are all poignant. There isn’t one song I would skip, and I am already excited to see what Cardi B does next.

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