Cardi B is one of those artists that splits opinions. Wherever you stand on her level of talent, the one thing that cannot be denied is her work rate and subsequent success.
Her albeit wild personality has captured the heart of the nation with something that can only be described as a Cinderella story. With a baby on the way here’s to hoping this fairytale has a happy ending, no pressure Offset (!)
At just 25, with several nominations and successful singles under her belt, Cardi has achieved more in the last year than many have achieved of the span of their entire careers. Love her or hate her, you have to admit there is something endearing about her rags to riches story. But being a sycophant didn’t get anyone anywhere, so here is what I honestly thought of the album.
While I, of course, give her 10 out of 10 for her lyrical bravado, sass, and confidence, this tracklist lacked structure and was for the most part hit and miss. As a result, the album ended up sounding more like a compilation of singles rather than a coherent body of work.
I was very conflicted because the music in and of itself was not bad at all. But with a list of big name producers and features on the tracklist, I suppose it would be hard to go wrong in that regard.
While the album was for the most part heavily influenced by popular trap sound, that is quickly becoming Cardi’s signature, elements of other genres most definitely found their way onto the track list with songs like ‘Ring’ and ‘Best Life‘.
While I enjoyed the throwback, chilled hip-hop vibe of the track, songs like ‘Best Life’ saw the featured artists arguably outperforming Cardi, which was incredibly conflicting to hear as a listener. While I appreciate the variety this song brought to the album it became quite evident that this was not Cardi’s element.
Incorporating a variety of sounds ranging from mid-tempo trap to mellow hip-hop, versatility was the likely focus here. What the project lacked in execution it definitely made up for in attitude. I most certainly enjoyed a number of her other collaborations.
The album certainly had a few pleasant surprises; one of the most notable being the song ‘Ring’ featuring Kehlani.
It was a completely different vibe for Cardi and showed her to be capable of telling an engaging story. It was the first time I felt an authentic connection with the artists and got a glimpse into the vulnerable side of her. Of course, Kehlani killed her verses, but I surprisingly enjoyed Cardi’s vocals. Were they pitch perfect? No. But for this type of song they didn’t need to be and in fact added to the authenticity of the track. My only criticism was how abruptly it the song ended, but I suppose you can’t win them all.
While it’s clear that Cardi has star quality, the jury is still out on this album. Does Cardi B make good music? Her position on the charts and the fact that ‘Invasion of Privacy’ has already gone gold is a testament to that. But the album as a whole feels somewhat disjointed. I want Cardi B to win as much as the next person, let’s not get lost in the cool aid. Yes, there are some hidden gems on this project but, musically the album lacked the coherency and finesse you would expect of an artist with her accolades.
Regardless of courageous lyrical choices and a personality that remains larger than life, I have no doubts that Cardi B will be here a while longer. With this being her debut album, she will only get better from here and an album set to go to number 1 isn’t exactly a bad place to start.
Founder of IndustryMe