American rapper Cardi B's breakout single Bodak Yellow caught my attention, as it did for many people. The hit single has gone five times platinum, launching her career into the limelight of the Hip Hop scene. Her unapologetic attitude, empowered delivery and plain use of language lets her Bronx accent charm on the microphone while she flows at a steady, sturdy pace that's easy to take in. She's got a vivid persona, energy and passion thats all about her rise to fame, a rags to riches tale of working hard to escape her life as a stripper and make in the rap industry, which no one can take away from her now given her record breaking arrival on the scene.
Unfortunately there is little substance beyond her hustle hard story which is told well on the opening track. With the album loading its best tunes into the first five tracks it quickly descends into a mud slinging romp of aggressive hyperbole after she tells her break up story on Be Careful. It starts with Chance The Rapper who features on Best Life, singing with a weak temperament, delivering a forgettable chorus repeating the "skrt skrt" noise over and over. From this point the record losses me entirely, either its the beats, rhymes or singing but something on earth track just rubs me the wrong way.
Money Bag has a banging beat and Cardi's flow is fire but lyrically is all to bitter and spiteful to enjoy, constantly taking hits at her doubters over and over again. When its become the recurrent theme to talk down at the same people it gets stale quickly. Every song focuses on throwing out insults while showing off her wealth and riches with a typically materialistic and braggadocios manor. These are the points where rappers can easily loose me and unfortunately it seems to be all Cardi has to offer beyond her endearing rags to riches story told in the first few songs.
The production is as modern and trendy as it gets. Pretty much all you could expect from the current state of Hip Hop. Some of the songs really go overboard on the "skrt skrt" sounds and goofy noises, the Migos manage hold themselves back somewhat and drop in with breezy verses utilizing a lot of spacious reverb to much effect on Drip. She Bad on the other hand has the laziest hook writing Ive heard in some time, just repeating the same words over and over. Ultimately this record just leaves me disappointed, I hope Cardi can find some real subject matter to get her teeth into on future albums because without substance her flow feels wasted to me.
Favorite Tracks: Get Up 10, Bodak Yellow