If you’ve been tuning in to any current pop radio station lately, chances are you’ve heard of the new artist Cardi B. Since making her debut as an American rapper in 2017 with her single “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi has gotten her fair share of publicity, both positive and negative. Regardless, she continues to voice her opinions loud and clear on social media, television and radio interviews, and her unapologetic personality has won some over while pushing others away.
Whether you are a fan or a foe, it’s hard to deny Cardi the success she has achieved. In early April, she dropped her first debut studio album, titled “Invasion of Privacy.” Since its release, Cardi has topped over 33 million listens on Spotify and headlined shows like Saturday Night Live, Coachella, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The album itself is a masterclass in flipping the script in Cardi’s favor. With 13 catchy songs featuring big ticket artists like Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, SZA, 21 Savage and Migos, Cardi uses her life story as material as she sings about her successes and failures while staying true to her outrageous and charismatic self.
Her numerous scandals, like her relationship with fellow rapper Offset, getting pregnant with his child, and dealing with cheating allegations against him are brought up in her lyrics. Her hit song “Thru Your Phone” talks about her reaction to her partner’s infidelity, singing, “I just wanna call your momma’s phone and let her know that she raised a b—-/then dial tone click.” She addresses her past as a stripper in “Bodak Yellow,” with the infamous lyric, “I don’t dance now/I make money moves.” She shows little modesty in the songs “Bartier Cardi” and “I Like It,” where she frequently boasts about herself, but in such a bold and confident manner that it makes you cheer her on, saying, “They call me Cardi Bardi/banging body/spicy mami/hot tamale” against a fast Latin drum rhythm.
Cardi proves herself in this album as a hard hitting rapper, able to keep up with a quick tempo and to spit out clever lyrics. Some favorites include, “Look myself in the mirror, I say we gon’ win/Knock me down nine times, but I get up 10” and “p—y so good I say my own name during sex.”
Cardi makes no apologies for the controversies she causes, or for the way she lives her life. Take it or leave it, her whole album seems to say. A listen to each song is an insight into the life of someone who made it big after struggling for so long, and wants you to now know her name. You can tell she’s proud of herself, and that her so-called “haters” only fuel her fire. And truthfully, such confidence and honesty partnered with grit and talent should be met with praise.