Invasion of Privacy–Album Review

More stories from Julia Catalano

New TV in Spring
April 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Rolling Stone.

After the explosion of chart-topping single “Bodak Yellow,” Bronx rapper Cardi B became an instant staple of American pop culture. The rags-to-riches story of a struggling stripper to a musical performer on Saturday Night Live is what some may like to call the American Dream. With her aggressive, unapologetic personality and strong will, Cardi B has been an inspiration to many.  Her debut album Invasion of Privacy celebrates the embodiment of what Cardi B is all about—club bangers, unfiltered bars, rough love songs and being your own person.

Like the singles she released last year, Cardi B’s appeal and image match exactly to what her subject matter is in her music. The title track “Get Up 10,” Cardi sets the tone for the record with a hard-hitting build up like Meek Mill’s famous track “Dreams and Nightmares”. She preaches her rise from the slums to success while blocking out the fakes. The first half of the 13-track record shows off a confident, energetic and shameless attitude that speaks volumes to Cardi’s target audience.

“Bickenhead” is a messy, but extremely catchy, independent women anthem. Cardi B’s lyrics and flow is nowhere near the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Drake. “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper is by far the most uplifting track of the entire album. Chance really steals the show with his animated and charismatic flow, along with such a happy melody for the hook. Cardi and Chance demonstrate “living my best life” perfectly.

There are some flaws in the album, however. Cardi B can get too flat or one-dimensional at points. For example, the track “Money Bag” is almost a cut-and-paste copy of “Bodak Yellow” with a different hook. Some tracks also feel like they are not essentially a Cardi B song. “Drip” featuring Migos is very average, at best, but could have easily been featured on Culture II or just as a standalone single. Whether it’s oversaturation of Migos or not, this one doesn’t seem to have lasting value. Switching up her flow and writing some more meaningful lyrics could solve this identity crisis.

Vocally, SZA has had the best performance on this album, with the closing song “I Do.” This track has a very eerie production beat, but SZA’s passionate voice along with Cardi’s hyped-up lines make this track enjoyable. “Be Careful” is another enjoyable track that takes a second to grow on you because of the simplistic instrumentals.

Another theme to Invasion of Privacy is the Hispanic music scene. “I Like It” features Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny and Colombian singer J Balvin rapping over Tito Nieves hit “I Like It Like That.” This switch up in the album is very refreshing and flashy with a different sense of swagger.

Overall, Invasion of Privacy is a quality introduction to Cardi B and who she really is. Not every song is a home run, but it is an extremely fun and enjoyable album for what it is. This just enhances the brand of Cardi B, and this album shows that she is not just a one-hit wonder. Her name will be spoken for years to come.