In her debut album, Cardi B proves she doesn’t care about what her haters think


Josh Chou, Contributing Writer

In a time when gender equality is being promoted more than ever, it feels like we’ve been waiting too long for a female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with a solo track in a male-dominated genre. Cardi B, however, has never been one to take the conventional route. In her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” she displays what she’s fully capable of without fear of judgement.

“Invasion of Privacy” shows thoughtful effort and variety; Cardi B ruthlessly delivers blows as easily as she takes them. Although her rhymes may not be particularly complex, her attention-grabbing turn of phrase and flow more than make up for it. As she shuffles from ballads to trap to pop, her verses are constantly infused with impact, ranging from flat-out funny to insidiously clever.

Her single “Bodak Yellow” is  the first track in 20 years, since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop “That Thing),” to become a Billboard  No. 1 hit by a female rapper. Through this song and her other breakthrough single “Bartier Cardi,” the Bronx-born rapper introduces her aggressive messages of overcoming obstacles and having an honest work ethic.

But “Be Careful,” the fourth track in her debut album swerves away from the heavy, gloomy beats. The tone is gentler and subtler, more of a malicious wink than a full-throated yell. Cardi B still raps with tenacity, but steps carefully as if walking on her own heart. The delicate rawness not only makes “Be Careful” a highlight of the album, it also showcases Cardi B’s emotional versatility.

No song in this album is  boring or easily overlooked, but a few definitely stand out.  “Get Up 10” sets the tone as the first track. Cardi B shows no mercy to haters and announces shamelessly that she was once a stripper but is now conquering life.

“I Like It” may be a revision of Paul Rodriguez’s classic “I Like It Like That,” but along with J Balvin and Bad Bunny, Cardi B breathes new life into it. The reggae party anthem is refreshing with a bilingual and feminist spin.  

“Invasion of Privacy” is stacked with top names in R&B and hip hop: Chance the Rapper, SZA, Migos, YG and Kehlani are all featured. Yet Cardi B still makes her own mark with relentless energy and transparency of her rags to riches journey. She stays true to the spirit of hip-hop with words that are always loaded with double meanings. Having no interest in appeasing haters, she would rather prove them wrong.

Cardi B’s debut album clearly states that she’s on a roll and nowhere near stopping. And her message rings loud and clear: bet against her at your own risk.