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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

April 24, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: ‘Invasion of Privacy’ pops with fierce, funny flow

Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B

After much anticipation by fans and haters alike, rising rap superstar Cardi B has finally released her long-awaited debut album, “Invasion of Privacy.” “Is she a stripper, rapper or singer?” she asks on her track “Drip,” mocking her critics. How can an outspoken personality from the Bronx go from a stripping career to a main spot on the reality TV series “Love & Hip-Hop: New York,” acquiring millions of followers on social media and dropping “Bodak Yellow,” one of the biggest songs of 2017? Throughout this record, she proves her critics wrong by bringing her hurricane-force personality to her sound with ambitious and X-rated lyrics, delivered in her classic Bronx accent.

“Invasion of Privacy” is emotional, personal and witty. Cardi B steps up her game with a forceful, distinctive flow and clever lyrics that share the story of how she got where she is today. The opening track, “Get Up 10,” has a catchy beat and describes her troubled upbringing in an oddly comical manner: “Went from makin’ tuna sandwiches to makin’ the news/ I started speakin’ my mind and tripled my views.” Other songs, like the iconic 2017 summer anthem “Bodak Yellow” and rap trio Migos collaboration “Drip,” are intimately honest. She openly declares that her work ethic is what brought her to the level of success she has today, rapping, “Dropped two mixtapes in six months, what b—- working as hard as me?”

What is also intriguing about this record is how unafraid Cardi B is to openly express her sexuality. In “She Bad,” she blatantly describes her dream celebrity threesome with Chrissy Teigen and Rihanna. And, in “Bickenhead,” she mentions how she unashamedly shows just how sensual she can be.

She also references themes of infidelity and trust issues in the tracks “Be Careful” and “Thru Your Phone,” calling out current fiancé Offset, of Migos, after he was rumored to have cheated on her earlier this year. These songs are more mellow and R&B influenced than other tracks on the record, including jazzy instrumentals and softer vocals. However, its lyrics still depict her feisty attitude: “I’mma make a bowl of cereal with a teaspoon of bleach/ Serve it to you like, ‘Here you go, n—-, bon appétit.’”

Throughout this record of hardcore hits, there are some notable tracks that stand out from the rest by blending different genres with her idiosyncratic voice. “I Like It” gets in touch with Cardi B’s Latin routes by sampling Pete Rodriguez’s “I Like It Like That” and featuring Latin artists Bad Bunny and J Balvin. The final song, “I Do,” features rising R&B artist SZA, who brings an unforgettable hook to the otherwise catchy song.

However, there are other songs where Cardi B seems like more of a featured artist than the main one. “Drip” is so dominated by Migos that it could be mistaken as their song, and Chance the Rapper steals some of the spotlight away from Cardi B with his long guest verse in “Best Life.”

“Invasion of Privacy” is funny, fierce, loud-mouthed and in-your-face. It flaunts so many aspects of Cardi B’s talent, such as her one-of-a-kind flow and hilarious yet honest lyrics, that it sounds almost like a greatest hits album. It’s already tough to remember what life was like without Cardi B around. This record establishes a new level in her rise to stardom and proves that she’s here to stay.