After invading our digital feeds and TV screens with a massive social media following and becoming the breakout star of season six on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: New York, Cardi B is creating her own lane in hip-hop on her debut album Invasion of Privacy. Could she be hip-hop’s next MVP?
2017 was the year of Cardi. In June, there was her hit single “Bodak Yellow.” In September, she teamed up with A$AP Rocky and G-Eazy on “No Limit.” Followed by another collaboration with Migos and Nicki Minaj on “MotorSport.” The singles crowned the Boogie Down Bronx girl as the first female rapper to simultaneously land three songs in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Not to mention award nominations, acting gigs, and praises from some of the biggest names in music like J. Cole, U2, Drake, and Janet Jackson ("Ms. Jackson, if ya nasty!"). There was no stopping Cardi and after her success on singles and collaborations, fans patiently waited to see if she could deliver the same heat on her album.
Also Cardi b I seen your breakfast club interview, loved it. Don't put all that pressure on your album. You already won. Just drop & repeat
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017
If you look at Cardi’s career so far, her elevation is similar to the life of a professional basketball player. Her stint on Love & Hip Hop could easily be her college basketball career. Signing a major deal with Atlantic Records is getting drafted into the pros, and the success of “Bodak Yellow” was a hungry artist putting up numbers in her first starting game.
Well the time has come, for hip-hop aficionados to see if Cardi B can be a consistent player in the rap game as she released her debut album Invasion of Privacy on Friday.
The 13-track project takes listeners into a deeper look at Cardi’s personality. A girl who is all about getting that shmoney, flexing on the haters, relationship woes, and staying true to self. Women and men can both relate to this album, just trust me!
The album boosts solid production from the likes of Cassius Jay, Ayo the Producer, Boi-1da, Cashmere Cat, DJ Mustard and others. After Cardi’s massive success with rapper 21 Savage on the album’s second single “Bartier Cardi,” she brought on a few more artists to seal her debut. Artists including Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, YG, SZA, and J Balvin all prove how much they’re down with the #BardiGang.
The first track “Get Up 10” is the perfect rags-to-riches intro, backed with slow piano chords before a hard-hitting beat change, a formula similar to Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares.” (Free Meek!). From making ends meet as a stripper to tearing up the charts, this track is a look into her level up. “Knock me down nine times but I get up ten/Look myself in the mirror, I say we gon’ win.”
Fans knew Cardi was all about making money moves on “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi.” She keeps that same essence on tracks such as “Money Bag” and “Bickenhead”— an ode to the legends Project Pat and Three 6 Mafia. A track that every DJ needs to play in the club ASAP!
One standout track that is sure to have all the rooftop parties lit is “I Like It.” The self-proclaimed Trap Selena turned the 1967 Pete Rodriguez hit into a hip-hop bop, expect to see folks trying to salsa dance to this one all summer.
From Cardi’s inspiring track “Best Life” to showing her vulnerability on “Ring” to her you-don’t-want-no-smoke savagery on “Thru Your Phone,” the album is proof to give you all of Cardi and that’s what we love!
But it’s Cardi’s latest Migos-assisted single, “Drip” that gives life to her hip-hop career being compared to a pro baller. “I’ve been that b***h since pajamas with footies/Won MVP and I’m still a rookie, like woo!” Think about it: there’s only been two players in NBA history who were named the league’s Most Valuable Player as rookies, one of them being Wilt Chamberlain; a player who holds countless records with a couple championships to his name, but ultimately being known as the one of the greatest players of all time. “Bodak Yellow” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making Cardi the first female MC to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998. If she’s Wilt Chamberlain during her rookie year, she has a lot more to prove to be in the ranks of veteran MCs like Hill, Lil' Kim, and Missy Elliott.
So could Cardi B be the next Wilt Chamberlain of rap and be known as one of the greatest MCs? It’s way too early to determine and a couple factors would need to come into play: longevity, music standing the test of time, maybe a couple Grammy awards, but most importantly, for future MCs and fans to praise her craft after she’s no longer in the game.
Invasion of Privacy is a solid debut that will keep fans talking through 2018 or maybe forever!
Stream Cardi B’s album below and let us know what you think.
Mya Singleton a.k.a. Mya Melody is a music writer hailing from the Bay Area. As the current music editor for TSFJ, think of her as the playlist virtuoso or the audio aficionado for sports fans everywhere. Although music is her first love, she occasionally partakes in any argument regarding the NBA. She's a huge Kobe Bryant fan who's still upset Chris Paul never became a Laker. To this day, Hardball is one of the saddest movies she's ever watched, R.I.P. G-Baby! Follow her as she navigates to change the face of music journalism and remember, a wise philosopher once said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything."