Cardi B

Cardi B Shows Her Authenticity on ‘Invasion of Privacy’

Cardi's newest album, 'Invasion of Privacy,' was well worth the anticipation, hype and wait — all put together. She's killing the game.
April 16, 2018
9 mins read

Cardi B is “straight stuntin’” with the anticipated hype of her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy.” Climbing the charts since the release of her hit single “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B has become the face of female rap music and the face of a modern-day Cinderella story as well. Her contagious flow and beats in her hit singles have received high praise from a huge and still-growing fan base.

It is, therefore, only fitting that her debut album would have people on the lookout for her creative genius and ingenuity. In the wee hours of April 5, “Invasion of Privacy” dropped after a seven-month delay. The delay caused a much-anticipated wait, but it gave Cardi B the amount of time needed to show her true self on the album.

Cardi began her career in reality television, but before that, she shared her personality on Instagram and Vine while working as a stripper. Life turned around for her, thanks to her contagious laugh, flare and personality, which gained attention for the better.

After spending her time as a reality television star and Instagram addict, Bronx native Cardi crossed over to the music industry in 2015. While working her way into the music biz, Cardi made two mixtapes — mixtapes that in “Bodak Yellow” she vocalizes she dropped in six months — but they were met with doubt. Despite this, Cardi succeeded and continues to thrive in her new album.

“Invasion of Privacy” tells the story of Cardi’s life and talks about her dream that only recently became reality, all through her hard-hitting lyrics; she does all this and brings her own spin on the music of great rappers who came before her, adding her own style to the mix.

Cardi B approaches her rapping flow and lyrical metaphors with a studious approach. New Yorker writer Carrie Battan deems “Invasion” a studious, as well as bombastic, album.

Her strategic rapping flow mimics the great artists that came before her in many instances throughout her album. It’s clear that Cardi’s album presents her modern and authentic flare, with a nod to the traditional rapping styles of the past.

The album opens with an homage to Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares,” which is filled with the sounds of strings and pianos paired to a hard-hitting beat that Cardi raps over — the lyrics in this song highlight her rags to riches story.

“Get Up 10” illustrates the story of what Cardi B has gone through and her start to fame, nodding to her social media success and then to her success in music. The narrative of the lyrics, wrapped in aggressive-rap verses, delivers an unusually compelling and eloquent feel that allows any listener to recognize the story that shines through the music.

Cardi’s accent is also prevalent on the album and it brings a whole different level to her music, proving that her voice is genuine, lacking autotune — it proudly represents her heritage, background and personality.

Tracks like “Bickenhead” have hard lyrics that are believed to be a get-money anthem, but also sample from Project Patt’s “Chickenhead” and mimic the flow of Patt’s lyrics. Cardi’s “Bickenhead” is a take on the Urban Dictionary’s idea of a “chicken head” (which if you want to look that up, go for it).

“I Like It” samples from the 1967 Pete Rodriguez song “I Like It Like That” and exhibits Cardi’s Latina flare beautifully, balancing her bilingual lyrics throughout the song. Showing her heritage while also featuring artists Bunny B and J. Balvin truly brings this old-school sample to the modern stage.

Cardi stacks big-time featured artists throughout her tracks, while incorporating commanding and intelligent verses throughout her songs. Chance The Rapper, SZA, Migos (her fiancé, Offset, is part of the trio in the song “Drip”), YG and 21 Savage provide their own creative authenticity alongside Cardi.

With each song that Cardi brings to “Invasion,” the versatile qualities of her personality, and who she is as a rapper, shine through.

In a Billboard article back in October, Cardi claimed that her inspiration for “Bodak Yellow” came from Kodak Black’s 2014 hit “No Flockin.” “I’ma sound like all your favorite rappers,” Cardi said, supporting that idea that she does study the flows of other rappers and spin them into her own lyrics and style.

Her approach to rapping is filled with, simply, learning about rappers of the past. She is quite open about her method and her studies have truly shone in her new album.

Memorable since day one from her accomplishments with “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B has shown that she can lyrically pack a punch with words. Her lyrics in each song send a message and a story that Cardi is ready to tell to her fans. “Thru Your Phone” is an R&B style ballad and it’s evidence that a revenge rap can also have a sentimental soft side.

There’s an underlying theme that exists throughout this entire album: the sense that Cardi B is a fighter. “Best Life,” featuring Chance the Rapper, is a song that nods to good old-fashioned working hard to achieve a good life. Each song flows with the other, speaking volumes to the incredible authenticity that Cardi B selflessly lets fans and others see.

“Invasion of Privacy” itself pays homage to Cardi’s intelligent choices, her inspiration from others and keeping with idea of putting yourself into different molds of rap.

Her versatility and attention to detail turns old songs into raw, yet modern authentic versions of themselves and suddenly flows that have been blasted through speakers and headphones since the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s are revived.

Twitter fans have gone insane about “Invasion of Privacy” with words of praise and awe for Cardi’s lyrics. It’s also not only fans that have responded to Cardi’s jaw-dropping lyrics — Chrissy Teigen also tweeted in response to Cardi’s lyrics, specifically the lyric, “I need Chrissy Teigen / Know a Bad Bitch when I see one / tell Rih-Rih I need a threesome,” from the song “She Bad.”

The powerful and provocative lyric sparked immediate praise:

“Invasion of Privacy” brings the greatest samples and flows that have proven to be inspirations for Cardi B, all to let listeners know of her fame, her story and most importantly — that she isn’t done telling her story yet. Cardi’s “little 15 minutes [of fame is] lasting long as hell” and fans most definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.

Gillian Farnan, SUNY Cortland

Writer Profile

Gillian Farnan

SUNY Cortland
Professional Writing and History


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