May 21, 2018

Is Cardi B talented?

Becky Miller '20, Opinions Editor

Rapper Cardi B, born Belcalis Almanzar, dropped her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, on April 6.

Rapper Cardi B, born Belcalis Almanzar, is taking the media by storm. The Bronx native is known for her catchy songs and upfront personality, and in the last month alone, Almanzar announced her pregnancy with fiance Kiari Kendrell Cephus a.k.a. Offset, performed on Saturday Night Live, co-hosted the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, performed at the Coachella music festival, and dropped her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy”.

With all of the buzz surrounding the singer, many music fans must know: Does Cardi B really have talent?

Since she released her hit single “Bodak Yellow”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in September, Almanzar has received nine nominations for 2017’s BET Hip Hop Awards. She won  Single of the Year, Best New Hip-Hop Artist, Hustler of the Year, Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style), and Best Mixtape for her second mixtape “Gangsta B*tch Music, Vol. 2”. At the Grammys in 2017, Almanzar not only performed, but also received two nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.

In “Invasion of Privacy”, Almanzar acknowledges her haters in a candid and brazen way — she lets everyone know not to mess with her. On the album, she collaborates with reputable rappers and hip hop artists such as SZA, Chance the Rapper, 21 Savage, and Migos, her fiance Offset’s rap group. She also joined forces with Bruno Mars on his single “Finesse”, establishing her presence in a respectable inner-circle of the industry.

Many people assume that Almanzar only rose into the spotlight because of her outspoken raps and unfiltered comments, which make her a celebrity favorite. What many fail to see is that her music is equally as impressive as her likeable personality and rags to riches story, as proven by the multitude of awards and recognition her mixtapes and debut album received.

“I Like It”, the most streamed song off of “Invasion of Privacy” thus far, features Latin hip-hop artists J Balvin and Bad Bunny and samples the 1967 Pete Rodriguez song “I Like it Like That”. This song reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, number nine on Spotify’s United States Top 50, and number two on Apple Music’s U.S. Chart. This fun and danceable beat, combined with its bilingual lyrics and Almanzar’s connection to her Afro-Latina roots, makes this a fan favorite and showcases Almanzar’s talent as a rapper and artist.

In other songs on the album, Almanzar spits out quotable lyric after lyric, displaying impressive poetic abilities. In “She Bad”, Almanzar raps, “I’m a boss in a skirt, I’m a dog, I’m a flirt/Write a verse while I twerk, I wear off-white at church/Prolly make the preacher sweat, read the Bible, Jesus wept.” Alluding to her past as a stripper, Almanzar’s interesting lyrics and overt self confidence show her capability and savviness. In “Get Up 10”, Almanzar shows her expertise as a rapper when she exposes her fake friends who use her for her newfound fame. She raps, “A b*tch play with my money?/Might as well spit in my food/B*tches hated my guts, now they swear we was cool/Went from makin’ tuna sandwiches to makin’ the news/I started speakin’ my mind and tripled my views”.

Although relatively new to the spotlight, Almanzar handles herself with boldness and assurance, and she has the success to back herself up. With critically acclaimed singles and an incredibly well-received debut album, Almanzar is making a permanent name for herself in the music industry, gaining respect from the public due to her talent and fun-loving energy. As she said herself on “I Do”, “My little fifteen minutes lasted long as hell, huh?”

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