Cardi B Invasion of Privacy Album Review

Culture


“Got a bag and fixed my teeth, hope you hoes know it ain’t cheap”“Bodak Yellow”

It’s not a boast you hear every day. And that’s what makes it one of the most memorable lines on Cardi’s B’s chart-shattering breakout hit, “Bodak Yellow.” On the one hand, it’s a typical rap flex: I have money and I’m using it. On the other, it’s an exceptionally vulnerable, even mundane admission of humanity—she’s bragging about dental surgery, not a car. Yet it sums up Cardi as a public figure better than any other line in that career-and-culture-defining battle cry. Her relentless insistence on branding herself on her so-called imperfections—and celebrating them—is the most impressive, revelatory thing she does. This is a woman who started her career stripping, and who is now posting pictures of herself on billboards in Times Square, next to the places she used to strip at. She’s imperfect, but she loves herself, flaws and all. That’s her brand.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Invasion of Privacy, Cardi’s polished, explosive, and endlessly fun studio debut, is proof that her militant self-love is strong enough to power more than an Instagram video or a one-off hit. “I started speakin’ my mind and tripled my views / Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs,” she spits on the album’s cinematic opener, “Get Up 10,” a song charting, naturally, her ability to get up after being knocked down. How could you ever hate her, when watching her win feels this good?

Her transparency can seem over-exaggerated, even performative, but watch one interview or confessional Instagram video, and you know the honesty is real. It’s why we love Cardi and root for her to win (in the wake of her new album, everyone from Rihanna to Erykah Badu to Oprah has congratulated her on social media): There’s a reflective flicker of our own insecurities, self-told secrets, and aspirational hopes and dreams within every Cardi B celebratory one-liner, moment of awe, and burst of righteous indignation.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Historically, women in the public sphere have been ridiculed when they’re messy—think everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Amy Winehouse—and when they aren’t mad or sad about it. A “flawed” woman certainly should not be forcing us to celebrate her. But here is Cardi celebrating her fake boobs and the fact that she used to strip. There’s also her recently announced pregnancy to a man whose infidelity she’s acknowledged—not the typical fairytale.

With a persona this big at work, there’s a risk of the music itself being overshadowed. In the wake of “Bodak,” many rap fans doubted her staying power, or even her commitment to music: This gregarious, open woman seems like she would be having just as much fun, say, hosting a cooking show, as she would being a rapper. But for a public figure who only started rapping a few years ago, Cardi’s debut is remarkable in its self-assurance.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

The overarching sound is, well, whatever she’s feeling in the moment. The through-line, though, is Cardi herself. “I Like It,” which is going to destroy summer, is a hedonistic team-up with Latin superstars J Balvin and Bad Bunny, while the searing “Thru Your Phone” is a break-up revenge tell-all with a haunting, stadium-raising chorus. “Bickenhead,” which I had to turn off the first time I heard it because I was in danger of twerking in my office, flips Project Pat and La Chat’s iconic 2001 battle-of-the-sexes anthem “Chickenhead” into a dirty ode to female sexual empowerment and enjoyment. “Put your tongue out in the mirror, pop that pussy while you drive / Spread them asscheeks open, make that pussy crack a smile,” she instructs, neglecting the male gaze entirely until, with a wink, she raps: “Let your legs run that n—, make him give your ass a child.”

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Her glorification of the more vivid aspects of sex is nothing new to the female rap canon—except with Cardi, more than any femcee since Missy Elliott, sex and sexiness belong to women. She’s aware of the many layers of power involved in sex with men, but she inverts its oppressive forces into something empowering for women everywhere. Talk about self-love.

How could you ever hate her, when watching her win feels this good?

She’s an eager and more than capable older sister for the women listening to her music, a role she’s taken on since her early Instagram days. “Here’s a word to my ladies, don’t you give these n—s none,” she advises on the boisterous standout “I Do,” featuring SZA, “If they can make you richer, they can make you cum.” If Cardi B is accomplishing anything with Invasion of Privacy, outside of cementing a significant career, it’s widening society’s narrow confines so that she, and every woman with her, can strut through them.

There’s a telling line in the buoyant, affirming, Chance the Rapper–assisted “Best Life”: “I’m the rose that came from the concrete in the Rolls,” she raps at the end of her second verse. It’s a reference to “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” a poem by another rapper who made it his mission to reveal himself fully, in all his contradictions: 2Pac. “You wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals,” Pac says in his spoken-word performance of it. “On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun.” Invasion of Privacy is a powerful and deserved celebration of that will to reach the sun, damaged petals and all.



Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

The Secret To Wearing Spring’s Boldest Evening Looks
13 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic in Your Beauty Routine
Tammy Duckworth Posts Her 10-Day-Old Baby’s #OOTD to Prove She Meets the Senate Dress Code
Best Yoga Mats 2018 | POPSUGAR Fitness
The HIIT Workout You Can Do in 15 Minutes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *