Cardi B exploded onto the pop culture landscape in a flurry of one-liners and reality TV dramatics. Taking that infamously sharp tongue and using it to start a rap career, Cardi B flew from a B-list reality star to a rap sensation. Following two mixtapes, ‘Bodak Yellow’, the first cut from her debut, smashed its way to the top of the charts, and rightfully so. ‘Bodak Yellow’ was a bold breath a fresh female air in an overly male music scene. Invasion of Privacy, unfortunately, suffers a similar problem.
‘Bodak Yellow’ was ambitious, hinging on Cardi B’s performance to elevate it above the crowd. Similarly, Invasion of Privacy is at its strongest when it is being driven by Cardi B and her female peers and at its weakest when its focus shifts to the male features. The album’s highlight is ‘Thru Your Phone’, a raw and stripped back cut that provides something different that isn’t completely out of cohesion. ‘Ring’ featuring Kehlani is an instant hit with a hook to die for, while ‘I Do’ featuring SZA is a confident collaboration that expands Cardi B’s arsenal of one-liners with her declaring, “Pussy so good I say my own name during sex”.
The Bronx Native’s snappy lyrics are the highlight of a number of the album’s cuts including ‘I Like It’ where her delivery and lyrics like “run this shit like cardio” elevate an otherwise average track. However, Cardi B’s talent is not enough to save all of her debut. ‘Brickenhead’ and ‘She Bad’ featuring YG suffer from uninspired production while ‘Be Careful’ and ‘Money Bag’ are complete misfires with the latter being a tragic attempt to replicate ‘Bodak Yellow’.
Overall, Invasion of Privacy isn’t an immaculate debut but it is a strong showcase of a talent that is coming into itself. Buoyed by her unabashed talent and female features, Invasion of Privacy makes for a mixed bag of brilliant and boring cuts that all point to the potential for great things in the future.
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