Spoiler: there probably won't be a Nicki Minaj feature.
Cardi B was, arguably, the star of 2018. Funny, down-to-earth, glamorous and uber-talented, she was everything we needed in a year that was great for music, bad for everything else. Her debut studio album, ‘Invasion of Privacy’, adorned with world-dominating singles ‘Bodak Yellow’ and ‘I Like It’, was one of our favourites of 2018. Like the rapper herself, it’s thrillingly rude, incredibly accomplished and has tons of attitude. Well, there’s a follow-up on the way – yes! Already! – so let’s have a little look, shall we, at all the evidence currently on offer.
When will Cardi B’s new album be released?
This year, people. The rapper took to Instagram Live to reveal the news, responding to a fan who had asked when the hell we could have the thing in our ears. “Of course, it’s going to be an album in 2019,” Cardi said. “Hopefully, I can get my album done around the same time that ‘Invasion of Privacy’ came out. I don’t know how possible that’s going to be because I feel like I’m going to be extremely, extremely busy.”
That album (which, amazingly, despite being one of the biggest albums of last year, has not yet been released on CD), came out in early April 2018. So, providing Cardi continues to boss the way she been so far, it looks like we could be getting her second studio album in April.
What has Cardi B said about it?
She previously teased the project back in November last year. On Instagram, she said: “There’s about five songs that I was supposed to put on ‘Invasion Of Privacy’ but they didn’t fit and make sense, so I’m gonna put it on this project that I really want to put out on September 1st, but I’m missing like four or five songs”.
Aside from said off-cuts, perhaps we could look to Cardi’s late 2018 single ‘Money’ for clues. The track, to be included on the ‘Invasion of Privacy’ deluxe edition, due for release at the end of this month, moved Cardi’s sound on and was hooked around a simple, bouncing piano refrain and her distinctive rapid-fire flow. It was Cardi distilled, unlike the often maximalist ‘Invasion of Privacy’, and it would make sense for her to continue in this direction.
Who will feature on Cardi B’s new album?
Possibly Bruno Mars, given that the duo released another joint single, ‘Please Me’, in February. ‘Finesse’, the first collaborative single, was a huge smash last year, and resulted in their booking at the Super Bowl, which took place on the second of February. Then there’s the question of an Offset collaboration. The married couple had a highly publicised falling out (resulting in his attempt to win her back onstage, which did not sit well with the people of Twitter) but have somewhat reconciled, and made their first public appearance back together at the Grammys in February. Cardi also features on ‘Clout’, a song on Offset’s recent LP, ‘Father of 4’. So maybe there’ll be a TMI team-up on the new album.
There probably won’t, though, be a feature from Nicki Minaj, with whom Cardi infamously beefed throughout last year after Nicki rapped on her track ‘No Flag’: “I heard these labels are trying to make another me / Everything you’re getting little hoe is because of me”. Of the ongoing dispute, Cardi told CBS News: “You know, a lotta people like to say, ‘All publicity is good publicity.’ To me, it’s not. Because that takes away of people paying attention to your craft. It makes people not even care about your craft. They just want to see drama.” After Nicki cancelled her Bordeaux show in March, fans were heard chanting ‘Cardi B’ outside the arena.
What else is Cardi B planning for 2019?
Cardi performed at the Grammys in February and took home the Best Rap Album award, and is set to make her film debut this year in Hustlers. She has also filed to trademark her catchphrase, “Okurrr”. Improbably – because, with all her success, why would she? – Cardi has said she plans to return to college, having dropped out to pursue music. “It’s never too late to make your dreams come true,” she told The Red Bulletin. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of juggling things to create the right atmosphere and the perfect conditions.” So, whatever happens, it looks like she won’t do a Kanye and call her album ‘The College Dropout’.