Photo credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for TIDAL
Bronx beauty Cardi B has arrived! Born Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, New York’s new favorite bad girl tossed her five-inch stripper heels and pole and sashayed her way right up the Billboard 200 charts last summer with the ferocious breakout single, “Bodak Yellow”. Almost a year and a ton of hype later, along came her long awaited debut effort Invasion Of Privacy.
Per usual, in the face of skepticism and critics, the fiery former Love and Hip Hop alum did not disappoint. While she still has a way to go to be mentioned among some of rap’s female elite MC’s, to her credit, Cardi more than holds her own. The twelve track LP gaveher loyal die-hard fans exactly what they expected. A perfect blend of hip hop, trap music, some female empowerment, and a few saucy Latin based tracks for the Latinas! Representing her Hispanic background.
There are a number of highlights (some of which have already been released) including the sassy “I like It” with fellow Latin crooner J. Balvin and features some savvy one liners with just enough Latino flavor and spice. “Drip” is a signature Cardi B joint, with its hard-hitting trap club anthem like flow. The track also features a guest appearance by hubby Offset of the red-hot group Migos. On the empowering “Get Up 10” she delivers some of her best punch lines of the album as she boasts:
“I was covered in dollars, now I’m drippin’ in jewels / A b*tch play with my money? / Might as well spit in my food.”
“Knock me down nine times but I get up ten (woo) / Yeah, I said we gon’ win.”
On “Bardi Cardi”, she trades bars with rapper 21 Savage who compliments her style perfectly. Elsewhere, the fearless mom of one, shows her feminine and ever so relatable side on sentimental tracks like “Ring, Thru Your Phone” and “Be Careful”. She also gets a sweet assist from songstress SZA on the flowing sing songy “I Do”. Other features throughout the CD include Chance The Rapper, YG, Kehlani and Bad Bunny.
All in all, Invasion Of Privacy more so impresses than not. Additionally, the number of successful collaborations since the album’s release (Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, G-Eazy), the Bronx MC’s influence has proven to be undeniable. The LP was certified platinum in July of this year, just short of three months after its April 2018 release. Cardi is also the only female rapper to post two #1 songs on the chart consecutively. “I Like It” and the second being 2017’s “Bodak Yellow”.
With a solid showing of skill and finesse that most may not have foreseen coming, it is clear that the 25-year-old rapstress is still a very raw talent. While she still needs to work on a few areas to perfect her craft, like pronunciation (which she has admitted to in the past) and balance on faster paced verses at times, these are minor quirks that can ultimately make a big difference in her delivery. However, for the most part, Cardi flexes her muscles and indeed proves she is more than capable of being the next big female staple in the rap game.
Lastly, as it stands her fiercely savage debut single “Bodak Yellow” still remains by far the stand out of the introductory LP and the best work of her career thus far. Consider it a TKO knockout punch! A complete game changer.
“Only the real can relate”, indeed. Welcome Cardi B.