Critical Voices: Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy

May 1, 2018

Source: Flickr

Cardi B opens her premier album with an emotional three minutes of solo bars backed by a simple piano line and soft air horns. After the fun and free-flowing “Finesse” and “Bodak Yellow” that have brought her to stardom, this album opening feels out of character. But upon reflection, it proved her prowess and ability to rap with a passion, both previously unseen in her singles.

Overall, Invasion of Privacy is versatile and provocative. Cardi B has dance music, lyrical rap, true bops, and even some bangers. “Drip,” the second song off the album, features Migos, and has the listener headbanging while also wondering what she is implying by her lyrics, “Came through drippin’ (drip drip),” which she repeats ad nauseum. She does state that it applies to the diamonds she is wearing, but it is assumed to also be a double entendre.

There is a reason that “Bodak Yellow” is Cardi B’s breakout song and single; it is by far her best song off of Invasion of Privacy. It’s a bit slower and more complex than the rest of the music she has produced, allowing audiences to appreciate her lyrics more than in her faster songs. The song is all about her rise to fame and her ability to provide for herself, and it’s impossible for the listener to not feel incredibly proud and impressed.

Her rap is fairly aggressive-sounding, even in her slower songs like “Ring,” which features R&B hip-hop artist Kehlani. While the song is still a decent three minutes of music, Cardi B’s rapping could stand to be softer to fit with the rest of the flow. The last song on the album, “I Do,” featuring SZA, has the right balance of soft and hard, with Cardi rapping, “I’m provocative, it’s my prerogative.” It’s the perfect piece to end with, with two strong female voices singing about their authority and success in the music world, and in the world as a whole.

Cardi B is a female rapper with her own prowess and power, not needing to rely on male rappers’ stardom to promote her or push her into the forefront. That being said, there may be an overkill of additional voices in her music. There could have been less male rappers in her music, since her own rap stands on its own.

She sings of her move from being a stripper to topping the charts and sourcing her wealth from her musical talents. One of her famous lines from “Bodak Yellow” is “I don’t dance now I make money moves,” asserting her newfound dominance in the rap scene. Whatever is on the horizon is sure to be just as good, if not better, than what she already has under her belt.


Claire Goldberg
is the Voice's former editoral board chair and halftime leisure editor. She "says a lot of funny things," according to Emma Francois.

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