This is the shit I like.
I suspect my reading of Cardi B is different to yours. I know that she’s pregnant, and proud. I know she likes dressing up. I know she’s a fan of Lady Gaga. I know she’s a former stripper and enjoys shaking her tush. (Who doesn’t?) I know she’s had a run-in with Nicki Minaj and that she was “hurt” by it. (Who hasn’t been? Oh Nicki, you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind. Nicki!) I know she’s the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill to hit the top spot on the Billboard Top 100 and that ‘Bodak Yellow’ is Gravediggaz good. (I’m a little fed up of it now, hundredth listen in.) I know that her lyricism has been praised for its eloquent humanistic expressionism and she likes to rap with the word “pussy”. (Why not? It’s a great word to rap with.) I know that her recent performance on Saturday Night Live was approaching Beyoncé layers of gold angel dust.
And I do not rush to make that comparison, trust me.
But: all this information and supposition. Dull dull dull.
I know all that, but it provides me with no insight into Cardi B or who she is or what she likes to eat for breakfast or who her first crush was. I guess I could find all that out, easy enough but that is not my point either. My reading of her is different to yours. I’ve never been into champagne unless to wash ladies’ feet. I like her music in small bites, like my older lovers. I ain’t cool or stuck in a dead-end job or pretty ass or transgender or female or American or blessed with financial clout or holiday somewhere. Wish I was. Wish I did. I ain’t macho or don’t aspire to be macho either. I don’t get off on aspiring to be part of her brand, I don’t want to exchange sweet nothings with her bodyguards, I don’t get my kicks from her bragging or use of profanity or delicious sense of timing. I like all of them sure, but they ain’t the main reasons I keep returning to Invasion Of Privacy. There is a feeling of fragility at the heart of the toughness and poetry, a gaiety and playful way round the beats, a sense of fragility that fuels the name calling and spooked sounds. Here a glimpse of a heart best treated carefully, there a glimpse of a heart shattered, everywhere a fragility. A rub-a-dub-dub.
Maybe I’m just interpreting myself once more, I don’t know.
It sure as shit is easier and safer to describe and document music than attempt to analyse it, don’t it?