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Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (Album Review)

Friday, 13 April 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

One thing is for sure: Cardi B is no one hit wonder.

Such an assertion was easy for detractors to make last year, back when Bodak Yellow became the first solo song by a female rapper to hit No. 1 in the US since Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop (That Thing) in 1998. 

And, while such a shameful statistic could be justification for pure, righteous profanity, there is more to Cardi’s debut, ‘Invasion of Privacy’, than money-mad braggadocio and score settling tirades (though there is plenty of that, too).

This is an album of rampant wit and often intimidating candour. Cardi B is a rapper who is going to talk about anything and everything, and it’s clear from opener Get Up 10 that she has a lot of history to mine for lyrical content.

Her journey from stripper, to reality star, to major label recording artist has been well documented, but it is her own retelling of the story that is the most compelling thing about her. “I started speakin' my mind and tripled my views,” she declares. “Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs.”

Elsewhere, I Do and Ring display that frankness with a Missy Elliot-esque presentation of vulnerability. On the latter she raps: “Should I call first? I can't decide / I want to, but a bitch got pride / The switchin' up shit is what I can't fuck with / I'm feelin' you but you hard to get in touch with.”

Calling Cardi B's exact tone original may be a stretch, but such a raw voice mastering such a variety of subjects remains surprisingly rare. Put more simply, it's her capacity to find the soft centre of harsh topics that is truly resonant.

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