A lot has happened since Cardi B released her first mixtape two years ago. Over the course of 2017, her breakout No. 1 single “Bodak Yellow” launched the internet personality, onetime reality-TV star, and former stripper to mainstream fame. Cardi copped a new car, fixed her teeth, and got engaged to Offset from Migos. In her own words, it was “some real life fairy tale Binderella shit.”
Now, after this long buildup, Cardi’s debut album, Invasion of Privacy, has arrived. It features the still potent “Bodak Yellow,” but the rapper born Belcalis Almanzar shows off her growth and range throughout the 13-track project. Here are a few things to know going in.
Listen to full Album on Spotify Below:
Surprise! There Are Tons of Good Guests!
On Wednesday, Cardi previewed the tracklist to Invasion of Privacy. Suspiciously, the only features listed were 21 Savage and Migos, who respectively contributed to the previously released singles “Bartier Cardi” and “Drip.”
But Invasion of Privacy is actually stacked with guests, and Cardi employs her collaborators to their known strengths. She recruits Chance the Rapper for the wholesome gratitude bop, “Best Life,” and YG for the twerk-ready track, “She Bad.” A heartfelt Kehlani appears on “Ring,” a scorned anthem for any woman who’s ever been ghosted, while a no-fucks-given SZA shines on “I Do,” a mic-drop of a closer for the same woman after she gets the power back. And on Cardi’s unofficial song of the summer contender, “I Like It,” international reggaeton superstars J Balvin and Bad Bunny rap in Spanish.
Her first move in pushing the genre towards her English-speaking fans began with last year’s Latin trap remix of “Bodak Yellow,” for which she recruited fellow Dominican rapper Messiah. Then she teamed with Puerto Rican star Ozuna for their single “La Modelo.” Now her latest bilingual banger seems like it has real charting potential, should “I Like It” follow in the footsteps of Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” remix and Beyoncé’s “Mi Gente” turn.
Uncensored Sex and Relationship Talk
Cardi is beloved for her no-holds-barred attitude, and on Invasion of Privacy, she keeps it painfully honest. She has no problem speaking openly about her sex life with Offset—in the hooks, no less, like on “Bartier Cardi” where she declares, “Cardi put the pussy on Offset.” On “She Bad,” she details her oral sex technique before hinting at her fantasies about Chrissy Teigen and Rihanna.
Besides the sexually explicit bars, Cardi has an uncanny ability to ether anybody who crosses her—especially cheaters and side chicks. “Thru Your Phone” is the prime example of all her best shots. She shamelessly admits, “And you can tell your little bitch/I screenshotted all her naked pics.” Then later, she plots her rage-fueled revenge on the infidel: “I’mma make a bowl of cereal with a teaspoon of bleach/Serve it to you like, ‘Here you go, nigga, bon appétit.’” But Cardi makes it very clear on “I Do” that she doesn’t need a man—she’ll leave your “texts on read” and your “balls on blue.”
But Cardi is just as likeable when she sheds off her hard-edged persona and presents herself at her most vulnerable. “Be careful with me/My heart is like a package with a fragile label on it,” Cardi sings tenderly on “Be Careful,” showing that she is not the invincible cartoon character she sometimes projects. And on “Ring,” Cardi spits bars with the emotional transparency and specificity that we should all aspire to in late-night texts: “The switchin’ up shit is what I can't fuck with/I’m feelin’ you but you hard to get in touch with.”
Other Notable Cardi-isms
“Real bitch, only thing fake is the boobs” (“Get Up 10”)
“I gotta work on my anger/Might kill a bitch with my fingers” (“Drip”)
“Went from small-ass apartments to walking red carpets/Pissy elevators, now every dress is tailored/This some real-life fairy tale Binderella shit” (“Best Life”)
“This is sweet pussy Saturday, that’s just what Plies say/I said ‘Bae, it’s a snack,’ he said it’s an entree/With them pretty ass twins, you look like Beyoncé” (“Money Bag”)
“How you gon’ suck yo man dick with my name in yo mouth?” (“Money Bag”)
“Write a verse while I twerk/I wear Off-White at Church” (“She Bad”)
“Shorty said it’s all hers, why her thighs don’t match?” (“She Bad”)
“I could buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit” (“She Bad”)
“I just want to break up all your shit/Call your mama phone, let her know that she raised a bitch” (“Thru Your Phone”)
“Pussy so good, I say my own name during sex” (“I Do”)