The first thing you should know about this album is that it’s good. Cardi B is a singular artist. She flirts with the sounds of all her contemporaries and somehow emerges with a disc that sounds like the genre’s golden age. To me, Invasion of Privacy conjures up what everyone loves about rhyming: little couplets you can mutter under your breath at work, weird one-liners that get stuck in your head for days after.
The original is about unemployed women, so it’s obviously much more interesting to hear it from a woman
When I hear Cardi B rap, I hear the Beastie Boys, I hear Salt-N-Pepa. She’s magnetic, witty, and vulgar. It’s not like B is trying to save hip-hop – she just has a lot to say. She ranges from instantly quotable (“I’m a boss in a skirt, I’m a dog, I’m a flirt / Write a verse while I twerk, I wear Off-White at church”) to genuinely hilarious (“Get it from my mama and you don’t know where your daddy at”) to actually pretty agreeable (“I could buy designer but this Fashion Nova fit”).
Too often with current hip-hop, I’m expected to just tune out the lyrics while the heavy lifting is done by some producer and a healthy dosage of autotune. Sadly, this album has the opposite problem – some more memorable beats could’ve pushed this project into a whole new dimension.
That said, what works, works. ‘I Like It’ is great. Chance has a good feature. DJ Mustard handles the beat on stripper-turned-sultana anthem ‘She Bad’ – and aside from one of the most uncharacteristically lazy YG verses ever, it ranks among the album’s best. It’s a shame, too – I would point to YG as being in a lane very similar to Cardi’s.
The Project Pat homage ‘Bickenhead’ was completely unexpected but wholly welcome. The original is about unemployed women, so it’s obviously much more interesting to hear it from a woman. She even flipped the “BWAK BWAK” chorus into part of her verse. Get Juicy J to produce your next album, please.
I like that Cardi B shows other sides of herself on tracks like ‘Get Up 10’, since her story is so unique. At the same time, it’s a little hard to work up sympathy for her on the three tracks dealing with her relationship (‘Be Careful’, ‘Ring’, ‘Thru Your Phone’). It’s the dude who wrote ‘Bad and Boujee’. What were you expecting?
If you like fun and personality when you listen to an MC, look no further than this artist from the boogie down. She’s here to stay – and you’d better get used to her.