A report by Michael Saponara for Billboard.
The day has finally come. On Friday (April 6), Cardi B released her highly-anticipated album, Invasion of Privacy. The debut effort clocks in at 48 minutes through 13 tracks of brash lyricism putting her haters on blast. Nobody got more out of 2017 than Bardi and her meteoric rise in hip-hop is rewriting rap history books.
The project includes the previously released platinum singles “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi” in addition to the more recently-shared tracks such as the Migos-assisted “Drip” and “Be Careful,” which the 25-year-old denies being about her fiance, Offset. Invasion of Privacy is loaded with superstar surprises including cameos from Migos, Chance The Rapper, Kehlani, SZA, 21 Savage, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and YG.
The artist born Belcalis Almanzar didn’t hold back when it came to enlisting some of the top producers in hip-hop to help craft the LP’s crisp sonic. Appearances behind the boards come from the scorching Murda Beatz, Mike Dean, 30 Roc, Boi-1da, Vinylz, Benny Blanco, Frank Dukes, Cassius Jay, Chef Pasquale and more.
Billboard attempts to rank the top seven tracks from Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy below.
7. “I Like It” Feat. J Balvin & Bad Bunny
Cardi embraces her Afro-Carribean roots by tapping Colombian Reggaeton singer J Balvin and Puerto Rican trapper Bad Bunny for track No. 7 on her debut. The Atlantic Records artist flips elements of Pete Rodriguez‘ 1967 hit “I Like It Like That” into a modernized trap banger. The Bronx native closes out the tune’s first verse with shrewd wordplay relating to her rap alias. “Flexin’ on bitches as hard as I can/ Eating a lot, driving the Lamb/ Told that bitch I’m sorry, oh/ Drop that cunt like Mario Kart/ Yeah they call me Cardi B/ I run this shit like cardio,” she rhymes.
6. “Be Careful”
The 25-year-old employs a different sonic than her pair of 2017 singles while giving fans their official 2018 break up anthem. Cardi denied that the song was directed at her fiance when speaking to Beats 1. “I wasn’t talking about Offset. I was just talking about things I relate to that had happened to me. I made the record before I was in love with Offset,” the MC explains. Bardi implements parts of Lauryn Hill‘s “Ex-Factor,” which had to be approved by the legendary Grammy-winning rapper.
5. “I Do” Feat. SZA
One of the unrevealed features on Invasion of Privacy had fans taken back. Arguably, no two women in hip-hop enjoyed better years in 2017 than Cardi and SZA. Their first-ever collaboration sent the Internet into a frenzy as the pair of rabid fanbases seemed to bond over their favorite artists connecting on a track. “I Do” closes out the 13-track effort on a high note with the duo attacking Murda Beatz production.
Bardi takes aim at those who thought she would just be a one-hit wonder. “For the record, I set records, record sales/ I like niggas that been in and out of jail/ They said by now that I’ll be finished, hard to tell (I can tell)/ My little 15 minutes lasted long as hell, huh,” she raps.
4. “Money Bag”
J. White Did It and Cardi B got in the studio once again to recreate the magic that powered “Bodak Yellow” to the No. 1 record in the country. The chemistry between the artist-producer cannot be denied, as they may have another hit on their hands with “Money Bag.” The former reality star shrewdly interpolates parts of Nicki Minaj‘s rhyme scheme from her 2008 mixtape track “Womp Womp.” “These bitches salty, they sodium/ They jelly, petroleum/ Always talkin’ in the background/ Don’t never come to the podium,” Cardi interestingly spits.
3. “Get Up 10”
Proper introductions on albums have become a bit of a lost art in recent time. The Grammy-nominated artist makes sure not to waste her debut LP’s opener as “Get Up 10” sets the braggadocios tone of what’s to come on Invasion of Privacy. She may have been inspired by Meek Mill‘s famed “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro).” The outspoken MC references her past as a stripper and even name drops the gentleman’s club in Mount Vernon, NY she used to dance at. “They gave a bitch two options: stripping or lose/ Used to dance in a club right across from my school/ I said “dance” not “fuck”, don’t get it confused/ Had to set the record straight ’cause bitches love to assume/ Mama couldn’t give it to me, had to get in Sue’s,” she reflects.
2. “Best Life” Feat. Chance The Rapper
Chance The Rapper pops up as another surprising feature on Cardi’s debut. A collaboration with the Atlantic Records artist may have sounded foreign days ago, but the two creatives meshed their conversing styles for a tuneful track. They both exude maturity while explaining how they continue to live their “Best Life” every day. The 25-year-old boldly claims she’s The Notorious B.I.G. mixed with Tupac, before later bragging about having a picture with Beyonce.
1. “Bodak Yellow”
There’s no other way we could possibly end this list after what the J. White Did It-produced “Bodak Yellow” went on to achieve in 2017. The track charted in just its second week and rose through the summer to claim the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 on Sept. 25. Cardi became the first solo female rap artist to top the Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill achieved the evasive feat in 1998 with “Doo Wop (That Thing).” The anthem notched the former Love & Hip-Hop cast member her first two Grammy nominations and also became the longest-running No. 1 record by a solo woman rapper.