By ADMIR DURAKOVIC
Belcalis Almanzar, also known as Cardi B, has followed her meteoric single “Bodak Yellow” with her debut studio album “Invasion of Privacy.” Cardi B had released three mixtapes before signing with Atlantic Records in February 2017.
“Bodak Yellow” was the first single Cardi released after signing for Atlantic, and with it she became the fifth female rapper ever to lead the Billboard Top 100.
Topping the charts with “Bodak Yellow” surprised Cardi B.
“I couldn’t even imagine that I hit number one,” she said in an interview with The Breakfast Club. “My goal was to get on the radio.”
“Invasion of Privacy” is a 13-song hip-hop album featuring guest appearances by Chance the Rapper, Migos, Kehlani, SZA, 21 Savage, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and YG.
But despite her recent success, Cardi B isn’t aiming to be the greatest rapper of all time.
“I came into this game trying to make money, make music and go on my way,” Cardi B said in an interview on Beats 1 Radio. “A lot of people want to tear me down because they want to put me up there, and I never asked to be put up here.”
The album opens up with the song “Get Up 10.” The song details Cardi’s rise to prominence, going from a stripper in New York to a leading female rapper. Cardi B has defended her past as a stripper and the profession before, but on this track she clarifies what her job was.
“Drip” is the second song on the album and the second time Cardi has collaborated with Migos on a track following “Motorsport.” Amongst Migos is Cardi’s fiancé Kiari Kendrell Cephus, better known as Offset. Their relationship has been the source of many controversies and rumors. In turn, the constant rumors have become a source of stress for Cardi B.
“I do miss my privacy… when I was a dancer I was way much happier … I had more of a normal life,” Cardi B told The Breakfast Club.
“I was more free, I had less people judging me. Now I feel like a damn pet in the zoo.”
“Be Careful,” is a song many had speculated Cardi B aimed at Offset after rumors of him cheating on her two months after he proposed. Despite the rumors, the song is about her past experiences and her relationship goals.
Aside from focusing on her experiences dealing with mainstream exposure and her struggles, Cardi B also has songs on the album that flaunt her wealth and taste.
“I Like It,” features Latin rappers J Balvin and Bad Bunny. The song also samples Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 hit “I like It Like That.” Both guest artists rap most of their verses in Spanish, much to the pleasure of Cardi B.
“Bad Bunny and J Balvin, it’ so crazy because, like, these guys are at the top of their game,” Cardi B told Beats 1 Radio. “For them to take the time and do it exactly right. Everything came out how I wanted it to come out.”
“Bartier Cardi” has 21 Savage join Cardi B on a track as the two rap about their wealth and their connection
to the bloods. 21 Savage references his Bentley truck in the song, drawing another similarity to Cardi B past their blood ties. In August 2017, Cardi paid around $200,000 in cash for a Bentley truck.
“I am a rapper. I need this car,” Cardi B told The New York Times after buying it, despite reportedly not knowing how to drive at the time.
“Invasion of Privacy” is a fun album that details Cardi B’s past and current experiences rising from poverty to becoming a household name. It’s out now, available on YouTube, Deezer and Spotify.