Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
Invasion of Privacy
"Bodak Yellow" already propelled Cardi B into outer space with the song being absolutely inescapable last year. The pressure was on to a point with her major label debut, but it felt like regardless of what she put out the masses were going to be on board. That's why Invasion of Privacy is so unique, instead of bowing to expectation Cardi surpasses them. This album didn't need to be this good and didn't need to be this singularly voiced but god damn it is. "Drip" featuring Migos sounds so in line with the vibe they created on Culture II but the inclusion of Cardi B gives it a whole other dimension. The unabashedly empowered female voice is one that rings ever more true in 2018 with Cardi at the forefront. This album is putting to bed any idea that Cardi was a one hit wonder, with her lyrical skills on full display from the second the needle drops. "Bickenhead" let's listeners know that Cardi is not going to edit herself in the slightest. She doesn't give a shit about what might be socially acceptable for a woman to say, because those social constructs don't matter anymore. It's her honesty that gives her records such weight and her ability that makes them shine. It is this combination of slick delivery and clear savage language that makes her so incredibly endearing. She makes herself hard to hate even though her language is direct and devoid of any fat. You can imagine this record being overblown, too many hands trying to stir the pot, but Cardi seems to shut all those chirpping birds out making the record cutting from the very first moment. Her feature list is also so of the moment and feels more like music she wanted to make more than which artists the label wanted to include. SZA, Chance the Rapper, Migos, Kehlani and 21 Savage round out the list, not the usual suspects you would expect on this big of an album.
" I Like It" uses the Pete Rodriguez classic "I Like it Like That" and instead of sounding played and contrived, Cardi makes the damn thing soar. It sounds like the exact opposite of when Eminem sampled "I Love Rock & Roll" on his last album, nor does it sound like it is reaching too hard for that "Despacito" fan base. Cardi just naturally slides into every song she does with this effortless ability. You keep waiting for the lame duck of the album, the song that is gonna make you turn, but it never comes. Even her ad-libs are fun and portray and exuberance that is fully intoxicating. There also is a decidedly lack of slow jams on Invasion of Privacy, save for "Ring" even through calling that a slow jam out be a stretch. This allows the pacing of this possibly long record to just sail by. Cardi doesn't mess with skits, and trims every ounce of fat she possibly can while still making a pretty expansive record. Her story is so compelling going from the stripped pole to being one of the main headliners at Coachella this year. If you thought Cardi was all pop she begs to differ on songs like "Bartier Cardi" where no one is safe from her vicious attacks all slammed through this trap prism. On the final track Cardi B boasts just how long her 15 minutes of fame is lasting and from the sounds of this album it's going to last a hell of a lot longer. Last year may have been dominated by "Bodak Yellow" but 2018 is the year of Cardi B.
8.9 out of 10