Revisiting Cardi B's Grammy Winning Album Invasion Of Privacy






I remember when I first heard the Invasion Of Privacy. It brought me back to my days in the Bronx, flipping on a dirty mattress, sitting on a stoop and gossiping, and going to the Bodega to steal candy...


Hold up! Wait a minute...I'm not from the Bronx, and unpopular opinion I did not think that Invasion Of Privacy was a great album. I remember describing the album as a watered-down Hip Hop album for the casual rap fan. Not much liquor but a whole lot of Kool-aid.


Well, after the Grammy nominations for the 63rd Annual Award show were revealed, fans started questioning the legitimacy of Cardi B's Grammy win...again. I think Ole Girl winning best rap album is one of those things the culture knows was a bad look, but many are just too afraid to admit it publicly. However, you can tell it is something many do not want to repeat.


With the new trend of criticizing female rappers for using samples, I started to wonder how fans can chastise sampling in one breath and then defend Invasion of Privacy's Grammy win for Best Rap Album in another. Also, I wondered if culture critics would consider IOP a Grammy-worthy project if dropped in 2020.


So, I revisited the album track by track to see if it really is that different than the music people are now turning their noses up to.



TRACKLIST


  1. Get Up 10


Get Up 10 is Ole Girl's rags to riches intro song. However, it's also just her mimicking Meek Mill's Hip Hop classic intro "Dreams and Nightmares." I have to use the word "mimic" because this was way more than being inspired. Cardi B equivocally traced a photo and presenting it as art.





2. Drip feat. Migos



This is the song where people started wondering if she is the 4th Migo. The title says it all. The song is about their jewelry. "Drip/Drippin" is said 120 times in this 2 minute and 33 seconds song. This song does not appear to use any prominent sample, it's just obviously a Migos trap sound.




3. Bickenhead


Three songs in, and we have another copy & paste track. Bickenhead is such a connect the dots type of track that doesn't stray far from the original song. Is it catchy...hell yeah? But, how much work does it take to have a catchy song when you plagiarize another classic?




4. Bodak Yellow


Bodak Yellow...we all know this song. I've actually never heard the full track, but I know that Cardi borrowed Kodak Black's flow from "No Flockin." Another track that relies on an already proven fan favorite to be a hit.


5. Be Careful



On this track, Cardi sends a warning to her cheating partner over Lauryn Hill's classic "Ex-Factor" beat. So far, this is the best a sample has been used, in my opinion; however, it's another classic and widely recognizable sample.





6. Best Life feat. Chance The Rapper



This track used a discarded beat from "Never Be The Same" by Tinashe. One person's trash is another person's fortune.




7. I Like It feat. J Balvin and Bad Bunny



"I Like It" in the same fashion as "Get Up 10," and "Bickenhead" is another karaoke type track that is being carried by a very well known song that is an already proven success. The song as we all know is her telling us what she likes.




8. Ring feat. Kehlani



"Ring" is a nice rap-r&b track. The track is about a lover who ignores her. Nothing special.





9. Money Bag




Money Bag is about Cardi's ...money. This song she interpolates, steals, whatever you want to call it, from Nicki MInja's "Womp, Womp." This track sounds like a filler.



10. Bardi Cartier



This song had some controversy due to an artist by the name Tommy Genesis accusing Cardi of stealing her flow for this track. Ebro In The Morning discussed it.




11 She Bad feat. YG





"She Bad" does not stray far from previous topics on the album. This song was also met with some controversy once it was revealed that the song was originally for another female rapper, Kash Doll. YG went with the bigger look and gave the song to Cardi B.



12. Thru Your Phone




This song, like "Ring," is about a cheating lover, but this time Cardi fantasizes about getting revenge. Nice filler track for an album.





13. I Do feat. SZA



This is another song about Cardi B just talking about doing whatever he wants and her come up. SZA sounds good on this track. There doesn't appear to be any prominent sample on this song.



For the record, I set record record sales

I like niggas that been in and outta jail

They said by now that I'll be finished, hard to tell (I can tell)

My little fifteen minutes lasting long as hell, huh?


MY REVIEW

I had not listened to this album since the first week it dropped, so I had forgotten about some of these songs totally, lol. However, my initial feelings about this project have been solidified.


This album is for the casual rap fan to consume easily. In eight out of the 13 tracks, she either karaoke'd a song, took a flow, or used someone's lyrics. Her other tracks seem to follow the Mike Caren formula that is popular at Atlantic. She even borrowed from Missy Elliott for the album cover.


There is also the issue of Cardi is just not a great rapper. Each track was tailored made for her skill level, which is not a problem except she won a GRAMMY.



This album is not trash, but it also not Grammy-worthy. Nor is it worthy of the praise people still give it. I feel like people love the rags to riches story and mistake that for the album being great. It has catchy hooks and easy-to-follow rhyme patterns, but that is most songs today. It's right in line with her latest single, WAP, which has also been praised. I'm beginning to think that Cardi has privileges the Black female rappers don't have when it comes to making music.



STOP LYING TO CARDI B


That brings me to my issue. Fans and critics hold Black female rappers to a much higher standard than Grammy-winning Cardi B. That's fine, as long as she is made aware of her privileged. When she rants about her Grammy win, she looks like a Karen.



I'm tired of seeing the goal posts pulled up for Cardi while being pushed back for the Black female rappers.


If Mulatto, Megan, Doja, Tierra, etc., made Invasion of Privacy, y'all would have so many issues. The culture has got to stop coddling those with more personality than talent while trying to kill the spirit of the girls doing this because they love to rap.


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