Invasion of Privacy Fuses the Old with the New


Bronx native, Cardi B, released her album Invasion of Privacy in April (Courtesy of Facebook).

By Christian Hall

Belcalis Almanzar, “Bardi,” the Bronx’s “Binderella,” the “Gangster in a Dress” or, as most people know her, Cardi B, dropped her 2018 debut album Invasion of Privacy two weeks ago… and it is phenomenal. After gaining popularity in the summer of 2017 with her Kodak Black-inspired single “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi has since been featured on hit tracks with artists like Bruno Mars, Migos and Juicy J, not to mention her bold 2017 collaboration with 21 Savage, “Bartier Cardi”, that landed her in the Billboard Top 20.

On Invasion of Privacy, Cardi perfectly fuses the singles that brought her stardom with a fresh, unexplored sound. Tracks like “I Like It,” featuring the Puerto Rican icon Bad Bunny and Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin, let Cardi flex the versatility of her flow which adopted a Latin Trap style on her verse. Similarly, on the R&B single “Be Careful”, we hear Cardi using a more mellow flow, describing a cheating relationship with her partner; “my heart is like a package with a fragile label on it / Be careful with me,” she sings, channeling her vulnerability in every lyric.

This is not to say Cardi has lost her sound in the turmoil of studio pressure, fame and a growing fan base; if anything, she has sharpened it on Invasion. Hits like “Bickenhead” show Cardi flourishing on her home turf; a slow New York beat and hard hitting annunciation reminds us why we fell in love with her in the first place. Her unapologetic verses on “I Do,” featuring the lovely voice of SZA on the hook, and “Drip,” summoning the talent of Migos for three Atlanta Trap-fueled verses, are reminiscent of New York ’90s rappers of the likes of Lil Kim or The Notorious B.I.G.

Even with all of her talent on each individual song, I was most impressed by the way Cardi assembled such a precise, clean album. Far too often we see rappers moving from mixtapes to their debut studio album, using their singles as crutches to hold up the rest of their project, but Cardi was able to break this trend. Not only did she deliver a 13-track album, with each song contributing equally to the character of the whole project, but Cardi strategically placed her singles on Invasion in a manner that made me hear “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi,” songs that have been out for months, in an entirely new way.

With an impressive mix of old and new sound, and Cardi’s intoxicating enthusiasm flowing through every track, Invasion of Privacy will leave you wanting that iconic Cardi accent long after the last track ends.

Bronx native Cardi B released her album Invasion of Privacy in April (Courtesy of Facebook).