cardi b won't be shaded for using a ghostwriter on invasion of privacy
And other things we learned at the rapper's intimate listening party.
Photograpy Oliver Hadlee Pearch. Styling Carlos Naziro.
Last night, i-D had the pleasure of listening to Cardi B’s new album, Invasion of Privacy, with the “Trap Selena” herself. Okay, yes, there were 150 other people there, but the event still felt deeply intimate. There was even a moment Cardi jokingly performed a rendition of I Will Always Love You for us, shouting out “I took choir in high school” in her signature Bronx accent. The i-D cover star even provided personal introductions for each song. “I heard this song and I just absolutely had to have it,” she said before sharing the heartbroken ballad Be Careful. Then she brazenly owned up to those accusations that she stole the song’s lyrics from another rapper. “Ghostwriter, co-writer, I don’t give a shit! Ask your favourite rapper about their ghostwriter!”
The release party was a collective celebration of all the feats Cardi has managed to accomplish since the release of Bodak Yellow last summer. Cardi is the first female rapper to score a number one song since Lauryn Hill in 1997 and already has two Grammy nominations under her belt. She is a 21st century Dominican-American Cinderella story. “I’ve worked so hard on this album,” she said shortly after coming out on stage -- two hours late -- at Chelsea’s Showdown, the same venue where she met her fiancée, Offset from Migos, for the first time. Then she pressed play on the album we’ve been waiting for all year.
It’s going to take a while to fully digest the masterpiece Cardi has gifted us, but here are our first impressions of Invasion of Privacy.
Get Up 10
The first song on the album sees Cardi B shed her rambunctious persona. She dives headfirst into vulnerability, rapping, “They knock me down nine times, but I get up ten.” We learn some important facts about her life, like the strip club she first danced in was right next to her school. The track perfectly sets the tone of Invasion of Privacy -- Cardi letting us know she is not a one-note artist. By the time you get to the end of the sobering track, you’ll feel like you can conquer anything.
Drip (ft. Migos)
Drip is the most swagalicious song on the album. Cardi temporarily becomes a fourth member of Migos in the track, the quartet delivering an insanely catchy hook that just repeats “drip” over and over again. It’s the perfect song to put on and imagine singing to your haters.
Cardi continues to prove that she can make a hook of the most nonsensical of things on Bickenhead. We have no idea what exactly “get some chicken guap guap/ get some bread” means, but we’re here for it. Cheers to the fact Cardi manages to make space for “pussy” twelve times in just one verse.
Do we even need to say anything?
Cardi takes on a raspy, unedited singing voice for this track, confronting the public infidelity scandal her and Offset went through a few months ago. The song shows that, unlike other pop acts, Cardi does not intend to hide behind opaque, vague song lyrics when it comes to talking about her life. It also samples Lauryn Hill’s Ex-Factor for the chorus, referencing both Hill’s legacy as a rapper and the parallels with the song’s deeply felt subject -- Wyclef Jean’s cheating. Much like her time on Love and Hip Hop, she’s willing to share all the messy parts of her life.
Best Life (ft. Chance the Rapper)
Chance the Rapper and Cardi B come together to celebrate conquering the music industry on their own terms. “Said I’m living my best life,” Chance sings on the hook. One of the best moments in the song is when Cardi fangirls over meeting Beyoncé at the Made in America festival last year. “I took pictures with Beyoncé, I met Mama Knowles!” It’s the first of the three Beyoncé mentions on Invasion Of Privacy. Which makes us wonder when the two queens will finally give us the collab the world needs?
I Like It (ft. Bad Bunny and J. Balvin)
This will absolutely be the song of the summer. It will blare out the windows of every passing car in Brooklyn, play on loop in the clubs, and dominate all the radio stations. You WILL love it at first and then get sick of it from overexposure eventually. “This is for all my Spanish papis and mamis,” Cardi declared last night. “And if you’re not Spanish -- whatever!”
Ring (ft. Kehlani)
This song is yet another one about heartbreak for Cardi, which makes us wanna reach out to her and ask “You okay, boo?” Cardi bravely raps about a fiancée who has become distant. “So the ring on my phone, the ring on my finger, you act like you ain’t tryna do either.” *heart pang*
Be careful: only listen to this song on payday. Otherwise you’ll end up broke. Our favourite lyric: “He make sure he put Cardi B on his grocery list.”
Bartier Cardi (ft. 21 Savage)
The explosive single encapsulates everything Invasion of Privacy is about. The explicitly “fuck the haters” track simultaneously sees Cardi boost about her new luxurious lifestyle, flaunt her passionate relationship with Offset, celebrate her success, and claim a stake in the rap game. And we’re still recovering from the pastel-toned, Old Hollywood-inspired video directed by Petra Collins. Cardi robbed us of the chance to dance to the song at the listening party, because she was eager to keep delivering fresh material. “I know you already heard this, so we gonna keep it moving.”
She Bad (ft. YG)
“As soon as I heard this hook I called up YG and asked him to get on this track,” Cardi shared, the Compton rapper sitting right next to her. Cardi proves she's a chameleon rapper here by taking on YG’s signature L.A. rapping style. “Face down, ass up, I got perfect posture.” Of course Cardi twerked to the song on stage for us.
Thru Your Phone
“This song will make you cry,” Cardi said before playing the slow track about a cheating boo. “Now going slashing your man’s tires after this!”
I Do (ft. SZA)
The final track is a slinky, dark jam that sees Cardi B and SZA deliver a definitive bad bitch anthem. SZA finally takes a break from her everlasting heartbreak to sing, “I left a nigga on read cause I felt like it… I do whatever I like”
This article originally appeared on i-D US.