Cardi B, a new queen from the Bronx
Cardi B, the High Priestess of social media, has created an indestructible identity appearing in strip clubs and on reality TV. A sheer outspoken force, she capitalised on this reputation by pulling all of her energy into her passion: music and rap.
And then came a small miracle, Bodak Yellow. In this track borrowed from rapper Kodak Black, she perfectly showcases her Bronx smooth talk, her boundless energy and her extreme sincerity. Opting to ride a harder line in the vein of Remy Ma or Gangsta Boo, Cardi B asserts herself without leaning towards Nicki Minaj’s pop. Propelled to the status of a brand new and original voice, she has achieved posterity, but the future still holds a few unknowns.
In Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B turns all of her qualities into hits. She ticks all the boxes, going from the club formula of DJ Mustard with YG, to motivating minimalism with the Migos. Some choices are less obvious like the ballad with unclassifiable Kehlani, the sun-filled smile with Chance The Rapper, and even this provocative anthem for female freedom with rebellious SZA. All the guests are well chosen, presenting Cardi B under different lights, with widely eclectic atmospheres eventually reaching the radiant Latino tune I Like It. But once again, it’s in her solo performances that the rapper is most convincing, with Get Up 10, a technical and harrowing introduction in the vein of Meek Mill, and Bickenhead, the triumphant and feminist cover of a Project Pat’s classic.
In each interpretation, the rapper appears laser focused, outrageous at times, but always extremely articulate, and aptly expressive. Her Latino accent creates an atypical and original rhythm. Each defect of pronunciation is used as a musical weapon in all kinds of situations. Cardi B uses her multi-labelled identity to play on words and try other elaborated internal rhymes, which make her even more enigmatic. Invasion of Privacy comes through as a true open book with maybe just a few torn-off pages, an invitation to learn more even though we already know too much…
Always balancing between connivance and honesty, Cardi B successfully passes the always-tough milestone of the first album. And she takes the opportunity to strengthen her proximity with the public through a few mad gestures and an unfiltered writing. As for everybody else, she becomes the highly relevant icon of a new generation seeking a form of virtual authenticity.
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