When Cardi B first appeared on Love & Hip Hop: New York and told the world she wanted to rap, a collective eye roll spread across the faces of viewers considering that just about everyone who appears on any iteration of Love & Hip Hop has yet to use the show as a trampoline into the rare air of success in the music industry. But the charismatic former stripper from the Bronx with a penchant for a witty one-liner floored the universe when she dropped her magnetic “Bodak Yellow” and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three consecutive weeks.
Despite the success of the song (and her follow up "Bartier Cardi”), the question remained whether she was the female version of J-Kwon or if this was the start of something new. Fast forward ten months and Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy crashed into our social media feeds Thursday night and dominated conversation with the 25-year-old’s debut album.
Here are five things we learned with our first listen to Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy.
Sorry Haters: Cardi B Is Here to Stay
For the detractors who thought that Cardi B was a one-hit wonder who lucked up with “Bodak Yellow," we regret to be the ones to inform you that you were wrong. Dead wrong. Belcalis Almanzar is here to stay because Invasion of Privacy is sonically engaging and stuffed with one-liners that will surely reverberate throughout conversation for some time. Aside from “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” there are a number of songs that will surely be rattling trunks and stripper poles across the 50 states. From the sly nod and wink to Project Pat on “Bickenhead” to the relentless thump of “Money Bag,” Cardi made sure that she had bops that will earn repeated listens. If Cardi B isn’t your cup of tea, that’s fine. But to deny her charismatic approach to music would be downright ignorant. And it would also be naive to think that Cardi wasn’t going to address this on her debut album.
“They said by now that I'll be finished, hard to tell/My little 15 minutes lasted long as hell,” she says on the SZA assisted “I Do.”
Well played, Cardi B.
She Delivers The Women’s Version Of “Dreams & Nightmares”
Whether this was purposefully done or not, Cardi B opened the album with the estrogen rendition of Meek Mill’s “Dreams & Nightmares” with “Get Up 10.” From the haunting piano opening to the aggressive manner that the song builds momentum, this is the way you welcome listeners to your world and show them that you mean business. It was also wise to push the humor to the side, pull the earrings out, slide the mouthpiece in and go straight to battle. And although she says everything is love between her and Nicki Minaj, you can’t help but wonder just who she is aiming these lyrics at because somebody has drawn her ire. Her haters, perhaps?
Oh, and once a DJ decides to play this and “Dreams & Nightmares” in the club, it’s almost a guarantee that it will be the rowdiest moment of the night.
You’re Going To Hear This Rags To Riches Story
Look, Cardi B wants you to know that she wasn’t supposed to be here. But now that she is, her story is going to be told. And you’re going to hear it. You will certainly feel it. And you most definitely won’t forget it. Cardi’s life has been an open book for the most part. Between her Love & Hip Hop tenure, her social media presence and her music, her cards are put on the table. The authenticity is undeniable and she has no problem letting you know what has changed since her come up.
“Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs,” she riffs off on “Get Up 10.” All you can do is appreciate that level of honesty from a woman in a culture where people live in hyperbole and fabrication.
The Social Media Captions Are Plentiful
If Cardi B’s aim was to see her lyrics flood the Internet in a variety of memes and Instagram captions, then the mission was most certainly accomplished. No less than an hour after the album dropped, social media turned into a tsunami of Cardi B quotes. And there’s a little something for everyone to use. Here are a few choice lines that immediately jumped out.
“Shorty said it’s all hers, why her thighs don’t match?” (“She Bad”)
“Boujee, bad and thick, I could buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit” (“She Bad”)
“Leave his text on read, leave his balls on blue, Put it on airplane mode so none of those calls come through” (“I Do”)
“it’s gonna hurt me to hate you but loving you is worse” (“Be Careful”)
And there is certainly more lines scattered throughout the album.
“Thru Your Phone” Is Going To Start A Lot Of Fights
Invasion of Privacy is an album that will certainly resonate with the ladies. But one song that will most certainly elicit emotion and rattle a few relationships is “Thru Your Phone.” This is the rap equivalent of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows” where Cardi’s bars about cellular infidelity and retaliation might hit a little too close to home for some. Fellas, the next time you wake up and ask your lady “Why you got an attitude?” Be careful what you ask for.