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Music

Cardi B shows she is no one-hit wonder with stunning debut album that doesn’t disappoint

Rapper’s new release, Invasion of Privacy, showcases her flair and personality, with multiple producers and stars in their own right like Meek Mill, Offset and SZA lending a hand

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 9:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2018, 9:16pm

It’s Cardi B’s world we’re living in. Invasion of Privacy, the debut album of the emcee born Belcalis Almanzar, has arrived.

She is finally coming out with a full-length official major-label product – she is previously released multiple mixtapes – to take advantage of the massive success of her 2017 summer-dominating single Bodak Yello.

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In the standard flash-in-the-pan narrative, this is supposed to be when Cardi B is exposed as a one- (or two-) hit wonder, with last year’s viral sensation’s a last gasp at relevancy.

But Invasion of Privacy shows the opposite. The album opens with the sounds of sirens and the ominous battle rap Get Up 10, an intense, unrelenting statement of purpose that takes a page out of the playbook of Dreams & Nightmares, the signature track by Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill (whom Cardi B toured with last year).

Get Up immediately establishes that Bodak and its successor Bartier Cardi weren’t flukes. It sets the table for a disciplined 13-song album that never grows flaccid or dull and always keeps the rapper’s enormously engaging personality and flair for language on display, with rags-to-riches boasts such as: “Went from making tuna sandwiches to making the news / Started speaking my minds and tripled my views / Real b****, only thing fake is the boobs.”

Privacy is packed with featured guests, and Cardi occasionally risks taking a back seat on her own album, particularly on Drip, which features her fiancé, Kiari “Offset” Cephus, as well as his fellow rappers in the Georgia trio Migos.

The presence of multiple producers and stars in their own right on Privacy, though, also allows Cardi to showcase her versatility, whether slowing the pace as she lets her man know she is well aware of his transgressions in Be Careful and Thru Your Phone, or extolling the power of positive thinking with Chance the Rapper on Best Life.

As Privacy comes to a close, she exerts her independence on I Do, a collaboration with SZA, the North Jersey alt-R&B songwriter who was another of 2017’s breakout acts.

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After announcing that she is “so good, I scream my own name during sex”, the rapper has a last word for the haters who expected her time on centre stage to be up by now: “They said that by now I’d be finished, hard to tell / My little 15 minutes lasting long as hell.”

Indeed they are, with no indication of stopping.