Belcalis Almanzar, aka Cardi B, aka the gangster that your grandmother loves. An open book that effortlessly merges the identities of ex-stripper, gangster sweetheart and rap superstar. Cardi B has taken the world by storm, both with her unprecedented Billboard charting, and completely authentic social media persona. She felt the glory of the #1 Billboard spot with Bodak Yellow and she’s shooting for it again. Invasion of Privacy describes the album content perfectly. This album stood out as a magnifying glass into Cardi B’s past, present and potential future.
But, how did this massively anticipated album stand up to its hype?
For Cardi B’s first album this was a great project, however in the realm of the rap game, this can only be classified as a GOOD album. There are clear areas of under-performance, equally balanced out with areas where her talent left me jaw-dropped. First things first, this album really shows the world how incredibly versatile Cardi B is. In this album she rapped about some soft shit, some gangster shit, some hoe shit, and she sang a chorus. Almost like an embodiment of Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim. Cardi B is dynamic and it’s clear she is going to be around for a while.
Her adaptability is her greatest asset. She is able to genuinely rap, I mean with real bars, great melodies, and even some metaphors. Songs like Get up, Bickenhead, and Thru Your Phone showcase Cardi’s love for rap music. Frankly, Cardi can spit and she’s not afraid to show it. However, the biggest surprise of the album is the meditative ability Cardi B shows in Be Careful and Thru the Phone. She gets deep about her experience with heartbreak and is able to keep up with her hood self in the process. That’s the authenticity we love about her.
Cardi B has also shown her willingness to embrace features. Although we have heard her vibe with artists before, the greatest showing of potential for Cardi B is the last track on the album. I Do is a seamless medley of two strong, talented females that mesh perfectly. Although SZA and Cardi boast 2 separate audiences, their perfect musical concoction beautifully brings this album to a close.
Unfortunately this is not the end all be all. There are some songs on Invasion of Privacy that are sometimes lackluster and other times just straight up bad. Drip sounds like Migos showed up to way too many studio sessions, and Best Lifetook the medal for the worst Chance the Rapper song yet. (Keep in mind Chance has very few wack songs).Ring had no effect on me, and honestly it just sounded like it would make a great playlist filler. She Bad felt forced, repetitive, out of place, and it is probably the worst song on the album.
Now for the fun stuff…
Best Album Quote: “Went from making tuna sandwiches to making the news, I started speaking my mind and tripled my views, Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs”
Top 3 tracks: 1. I Do 2. Be Careful 3. I Like it
Worst 3 tracks: 1. Best Life 2. She Bad 3. Ring
Get up 10: Meek Mi… I mean Cardi B killed this! Drip: She can do better than this. She needs to separate her relationship from her rap influence. Bickenhead: I want Cardi B on my side of any beef ever. Bodak Yellow: This song made Cardi B the second female rapper (after Lauryn) to have a #1 Billboard solo spot…Nuff said. Be Careful: Best production on the album, and she sings on the chorus, and she killed it. Best Life: So disappointing, Chance was not used to his full potential, lackluster beat, bars, and overall record. I Like it: I LOVE it, Cardi taking it back to the roots, this will be playing in every Spanish club this summer. Ring: I didn’t even really notice this song… Money Bag: This makes me feel like I should be robbing a bank, or at the very least throwing singles at the club. Bartier Cardi: We heard it before, we know how we feel about it. She Bad: This song is…bad. Thru Your Phone: The number one gangsta heartbreak story ever. I Do: Is exactly what I am going to say when I put a ring on SZA’s finger. She absolutely killed this hook. This album single-handedly bumps the whole album a grade point. Cardi claiming her hood mentality, and a great hook with a hard hitting bass line. This is an automatic head bobber.