Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (Review)

Martin_Canine
CARDI B
Invasion of Privacy
★★★★☆

Jeez, this woman has some energy.

In recent times, many American rappers, old or new, have adapted a more introverted, almost sung slurry vocal style instead of the clear and somewhat rough one that was common before. Of course, this is nothing bad at all, and brought us great artists like Future and Lil Uzi Vert. The other big movement of the last years was experimental and often conscious hip hop, as can be heard from Kanye West, Tyler the Creator and Kendrick Lamar. But then Cardi B suddenly appears on the map and dominates the scene with straightforward hip hop songs and a sassy attitude. While the other approaches are quite decent, to say the least, I was very happy to hear something like this to pop up, and pleased to witness her succeed. Last year’s mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 2 was one of the richest hip hop records of the year, containing many facets of strength in barely half an hour. But it wasn’t until Bodak Yellow that she was noticed. But in what a big way she entered the hip hop game. It was like she stepped up to the throne, sat on it, claimed to be the queen now and nobody dared to say a word. It’s a shame that Cardi B is completely unknown over here in the German language world. While Future or Migos are at least somewhat famous in hip hop circles, Cardi B hasn’t even charted once yet. It’s sad, but judging by the massive success she has in a country as huge as the States, I doubt it bothers her she hasn’t arrived in foreign markets yet.

Invasion of Privacy, which topped the American charts, is a song collection that devotes itself to one thing: putting all the others MC back into their place. It actually feels more like a mixtape than her two actual mixtapes which had some sort of common thread, but that’s nothing bad at all: it works great as a big show off of her skills to a wide audience. The record contains a variety of subgenres of hip hop and Cardi slays them all in the most entertaining of ways. Unpredictable punchlines, constantly shifting flows, different styles of trap beats (hardcore rap, latin pop, RnB, ballads, 8-bit-like synths,...) and catchy pop hooks: it’s a true pleasure hearing her. She never tries too hard to be entertaining, she never strains too far from hip hop despite a certain pop appeal, and she never falls into a repetitive comfort zone, constantly reinventing herself and always keeping it fresh and exciting, and with such ease that it always feels as if she delivered hilarious lyrics and badassness by the go.

Here are a few of my personal favorite lyrics:

“Chef Cardi B, I'm cookin' up, I see you h--s at the stove again / While you h--s were sleepin' on me, I made 40 bands by 4pm / They be taking shots, miss miss, X and O, kiss kiss / Everything your n---a want, I'm like a walkin' wishlist / I don't understand what this hate is about / How you gon' S your man’s D with my name in yo' mouth?”

“Now I'm a boss, I write my own name on the checks / P so good, I say my own name during sex”

Or:

“B---hes hated my guts, now they swear we was cool / Went from makin' tuna sandwiches to makin' the news / I started speakin' my mind and tripled my views / Real b---h, only thing fake is the b--bs”

Cardi B is not only funny, her flow, rhymes and vocal delivery are insane on top. But she’s not all light hearted; you shouldn’t mess with her and always respect her, else it gets ugly, as she makes clear on Thru Your Phone, which can be seen as a sequel to last year’s Leave That Bitch Alone. In it she discovers her lover cheats on her and plays out all the acts with which she could take revenge. Far more aggressive in tone, this is what Cardi B more than just a good rapper, but that she also stands for claiming your naturally due respect. Her personality ties all of this together, whether it’s witty or a severe manic attack after her pride was hurt. In any way, she knows how to keep the rest of the rap world under her bloody shoes.

So far, it’s a close race between Cupcakke and Cardi B who will be called the Queen of Rap in 2018 (qualitatively, that is, not commercially), but Miss Onika Maraj has brought us two monster jams so far, so everything can happen. So let’s grab our popcorn and watch the Game of Thrones go on!

PS: Austrians eat salty popcorn, Germans eat sweet popcorn. Which one is preferred in your country?

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