Whether you are a fan of her music, it is hard not to love Cardi B. That being said, it is also extremely difficult not to be a fan of her music. On “Invasion of Privacy,” her debut album released April 6, the bombastic Bronx rapper demonstrates her lyrical chops.
Having risen from the grimy underground rap scene of her home state of New York, Cardi B always knew she was destined for greatness. On the first track of the album, “Get Up 10,” Cardi asserts she went from “rags to riches, went from WIC to lit,” in reference to the federal aid program for low-income mothers and their children.
The song is the spark of a dynamite project, which includes an assortment of styles from bass-heavy club bangers to sharply contemplative emotional songs.
On “Get Up 10,” Cardi B also states that throughout her rise to fame, all she wanted to do was “chill and make bangers,” and they are in no short supply on Invasion. Cardi throws them in your face like a handful of cash.
Her most famous single, the already quintuple-platinum “Bodak Yellow,” appears on the album after two its the most bangin’ tracks: “Drip (feat. Migos)” and “Bickenhead.” Both songs are “lit,” but the second is especially so because of its complex sampling and homage to rap history.
Cardi wants to be remembered as a legendary emcee, and paying tribute to rap’s greatest is definitely one way to do that. On “Bickenhead,” Cardi samples Memphis legend Project Pat’s 2001 song “Chicken Head.” The song’s origins are deeply southern, but also rely on artists from across the United States, as Bay Area rapper Too Short provides the bassline, lifted from his song “CussWords.”
Other standout songs on the album include “Best Life,” on which Cardi B recruits Chicago artist Chance the Rapper to bless the track. Their flows blend together on the soft, soulful song, and Chance’s hook is nothing short of inspiring, as he reminisces on his wild success singing, “Made a couple M’s with my best friends, and turned all my L’s into lessons.”
On “Like That,” Cardi gets in touch with her Latin roots, sampling Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like It Like That,” and flavoring it with her signature Bronx flair. “Oh, I need the dollars!” she raps, “beat it up like piñatas.” The song also features Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, as well as Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin.
While this project is still fresh and will need time to marinate and flourish as Cardi continues to grow, it is already a strong start for the rapper. As the title suggests, she is not going to run away, or wait for anybody’s approval anymore, but is here to stay, digging her bloody shoes into the neck of the largely male-dominated rap game.