Bronx stripper-turned-rapper Cardi B has released her debut album Invasion Of Privacy and I have to say I’m conflicted about this one. I was expecting to completely and utterly hate this album but at least two-thirds of it is catchy and contagious. Cardi B has her place in Hip-Hop music and with Lil Kim and even Nicki Minaj now in the past, I guess someone has to fill that niche of sexualised female rapper and Cardi does it pretty well (just not as pretty as Kim and Nicki).
So, if the album is decent enough, why the fuck is it in whatwentwrongwith.com you ask? Well, Invasion Of Privacy isn’t without it’s problems. From the opening track “Get Up 10” (which mentions her stripping past amidst airhorn sounds) the album keeps you entertained, at least for the first four songs.
“Drip” (featuring Migos) sports a faint synthesised flute sound. The line “diamonds on my wrist” is corny as hell but the “drip, drip” hook is catchy. This is followed by “Bickenhead”, a song with a Trina-esque sound. With Cardi B yelling “pop that pussy” umpteen times, this song isn’t going to win over any lyrical rap fans but she does state that “this is for my nasty ho’s” so I guess that’s the intended audience.
“Bodak Yellow” we already know, it sports a basic flow but it’s infectious with its bass-heavy, rapid snare and hat sounds, not to mention the simple yet catchy chorus…
Invasion Of Privacy is consistent up to this point but then Cardi B thinks to herself, damn, I need me some radio-friendly shit so voilà we have “Be Careful” with its mellow Hip-Pop sound complete with singing hook. Like a late bus, this song is then immediately followed by another weak-ass Hip-Pop track “Best Life” and the Pop sound is made worse thanks to the mediocre chorus by Chance The Rapper. Although Cardi’s line “you a pussy and a rat, you like Tom And Jerry” is humourous, with Chance shouting “can we get some more champagne!” you can just picture this crap playing in a limo on the way to some lame prom.
This is where the album begins to falter and because the mood is switched-up, you stop nodding your head to the beat and begin to notice all the contrivances. In “I Like It” Cardi raps “I like dollars, I like diamonds”, she then mentions “’Rari” and “Molly” in “Bartier Cardi”, there’s the repetitive “money bag, money bag, money bag” in err… “Money Bag” not to mention the line “I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich!” in “Bodak Yellow”. And speaking of repetitive, the inspired line “dat ass, dat ass, dat ass” is followed by “Gucci bag, Fendi bag, Prada bag, Louis bag” in the song “She Bad”. I think it’s safe to say that this album is heaving with Hip-Hop contrivances.
Aside from the cliches, the album contains a few chart-friendly singles which break-up the flow of the album. “Ring” featuring Kehlani is an overtly Pop song; pop chorus and pop production. If you like that kind of thing, it’s fine, but it stands out as an obvious cross-over future single.
With “Money Bag” we have a better song once again. There’s some decent production with a distorted synth and never-ending bass sound. “Bartier Cardi” featuring 21 Savage sports a faint piano, it is hackneyed but it also has a catchy sound. Cardi B at one point shows a relatively decent flow in the second verse, but next to 21 Savage, almost anybody comes off as skilled…
“Thru Your Phone” is a strangely juxtaposed song with Cardi rapping about poisoning a cheating boyfriend with bleach or stabbing them while finger clicks and mellow music plays. With its Pop hook this is another mood-changing song. The album ends with “I Do” featuring SZA. The track contains the hilarious lyric “pussy so good, I say my own name during sex” but this is followed by the ignorant “I like niggas that been in and out of jail”. Once you hear the line “only real shit come out of my mouth and only real niggas go in it”, you feel like you need your ears syringed after all this sleazy shit.
In some ways it’s annoying that only female rappers who conform to the male gaze, who draw attention to their sexuality become famous. For once I’d like a female MC who isn’t overtly sexual to make it to the mainstream. With today’s feminist, alleged “woke” audience, I’m surprised that hasn’t happened but regardless, it isn’t Cardi B’s fault that the major labels and mainstream media push their sexist agenda on the public. But I digress.
At just over 48 minutes long, Invasion Of Privacy is the right length (ohh, err missus) because with this kind of same-same content you don’t want to overstay your welcome. The title of the album doesn’t mean that this LP has any kind of profound meaning, and with Cardi B sat in a chequered outfit with a yellow wig on the cover, you think yup, that screams “Invasion Of Privacy”… not.
Overall, Invasion sounds like an album playing in a seedy strip joint, it conjures up images of dark rooms, dodgy stains, and sticky floors. Once you’ve listened to the album, you feel like you need a shower. This isn’t an album that will satisfy any rap purest and this LP isn’t going to be remembered in the pantheon of legendary Hip-Hop either. This is something that will be played in a stretch limo during a hen party, if you like that kind of thing then this LP satisfies. I’ll acknowledge that if I was reviewing this album on whatwentrightwith.com I’d have to give it a 6 or possibly a 7/10 because for the most part it’s a consistent listen. Cardi B isn’t trying to be something she isn’t, so in that respect you get what you pay for, I just wish she had the balls to make an album with back-to-back Bodak Yellows rather than pussy-out and include the obvious radio-friendly songs.
Yes some of the content is contrived, yes some of the lyrics are corny, yes some of the beats are clichéd, but Cardi B fans aren’t looking for anything deep or tight (ooh, err missus again) so in that regards, Cardi B’s album is exactly what you thought you would get (albeit with some unneeded Pop tracks). In more ways than one…