Belcalis Almanzar—professionally known as Cardi B—is exactly the type of female rapper the music industry needs in the current political climate. While women in the music industry, especially those who rap, are typically unfairly ridiculed, Cardi B’s musical talent cannot be questioned or demeaned.
Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy was released on April 6 and has soared through the charts. Her debut album highlights her range as an artist and knack for writing catchy and thoughtful lyrics.
Invasion of Privacy is described as “both brazen and vulnerable, filled with wild amounts of personality, style, and craft,” according to Pitchfork. They go on to claim that her “remarkable debut places her, without a doubt, in the pantheon of great rappers.”
The album features a variety of tracks, pleasing all types of rap fans. Invasion of Privacy feels like it takes listeners on a journey because it displays a range of emotions and attitudes.
What makes Invasion of Privacy so special is that it is written by—and seemingly for—females. This is not the rap industry norm and it is extremely refreshing, especially for female audiences.
Cardi B does not shy away from her gender, and her honest opinions on her relationship, sex, fame, money and society as a whole from a woman’s perspective shine through.
The rapper’s fan base is approximately 95 percent female, according to The Guardian. While many women enjoy listening to rap music, it can be troublesome that the genre is dominated by male perspectives, as well as lyrics and sentiments that often times degrade women.
Having a strong female figure in the rap industry is essential for gender equality and representation in the genre. Rap songs typically discuss women as sex objects, referring to strippers or prostitutes. But, it is clear in this album that Cardi B is trying to flip the script and prove that this type of language toward women is harmful.
Cardi B talked about the degrading songs of most male rappers in an interview for The Guardian.
“So it’s OK for them to let us know that they use us,” she said. “It’s in their lyrics, in the way they act … they always talk about what they want to do to women—they want to have sex with them, they want oral sex, then ‘fuck you, bitch.’ Well, this is what women want to do to men: ‘buy me a bag and go about your day.’”
While this opinion may not qualify as feminist to every individual, Cardi B explained to The Guardian that she does not want to tell her listeners to do as she does. She would rather tell them to feel powerful enough to do what they want.
Cardi B’s refreshing perspective in Invasion of Privacy is perhaps most seen in the single “Be Careful,” in which she goes after her cheating boyfriend.
She addresses the anger she has toward him, but also discusses the raw emotions one feels after being cheated on.
“You even got me trippin,’” she sings. “You got me lookin’ in the mirror different, thinkin’ I’m flawed because you inconsistent.”
Invasion of Privacy is the female-geared rap album that women have been waiting for. It calls out stereotypes, societal norms and has just the right amount of “Cardi B quirk.”
Harper’s informed audiences that “Cardi B gave fans a show during ‘Saturday Night Live’ last weekend when she confirmed she’s pregnant.” Cardi B will now not only continue to crush stereotypes and industry norms as an incredibly talented and respected female rapper, but also as a mother.