Essential Atlantic: Cardi B, INVASION OF PRIVACY

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Much like country music, hip-hop at the end of the '10s decade was another male-dominated industry where women artists were the one pushing the genres forward into the new century. Rapper Cardi B all but defined the zeitgeist in the summer of 2017 with the release of single "Bodak Yellow." The track's slow and low tempo narrated by Cardi B's stylistic rhymes became the soundtrack of pop culture, from the city streets to the highest end boutiques. It was song of the summer that became a genuine phenomenon, making Cardi B the rapper of the moment to grab the world's attention.

The question remained: could she maintain the momentum? (spoiler alert: yes). Was it all just flash and hype? Not even a little bit. April 6, 2018, Cardi B released her debut full-length, Invasion of Privacy. The LP was a sensation, boasting for top 15 singles: "Bodak Yellow" (#1), "Bartier Cartier" (#14), "Be Careful" (#11), and "I Like It," a Bad Bunny and J Balvin collaboration that followed "Bodak Yellow"--now certified diamond with sales in excess of 10 million---all the way to #1 on the Hot 100.

More than just a collection of singles, Invasion of Privacy was an album with legs, storming out of the gate to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 for the week of April 20, 2018. Breaking streaming records left and right upon release, just this week the record was cited for spending the full three years since that date on the album chart. It makes her the first female rapper to pull off such a feat. Last year, the album passed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as the longest-charting debut by a woman rapper in Billboard 200 history.

Cardi B and Invasion of Privacy had a banner night at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, scoring a nomination for Album of the Year, and taking home the prize for Best Rap Album.

"The thing that I'm most proud of [from] my project is that I could show people that I could do different types of music," Cardi B told iHeartRadio in 2018. "I felt like people [were] boxing me [in] and think that I could do like a certain type of sound. And I just wanted to show people that, no, I could do different things. And then on top of that, I'm proud that I could be a woman in my album, you know? A lot of people think that I'm just this girl with no feelings. I hate admitting it, but I do have feelings. I am a woman, at the end of the day. I do have emotions, and I'm glad that I could pour it out in my album, in my body of work."