When Cardi B and Bruno Mars first worked together, the Bronx rapper brought brash sass to a remix of his 2016 track, ‘Finesse’. She only really appeared on that song for one verse right at the start – unless you count two repeated lines towards the end (we don’t) – but it was the best bit. Thus, we were condemned to a life of constantly hitting the back button to get our Cardi fill in a world where ‘Invasion Of Privacy’ had yet to be released.
The pair have reunited for another track in ‘Please Me’ and, happily, it’s Bardi who dominates it. Where ‘Finesse’, with its hopping, skittering beat, felt like it had dropped straight from the ‘90s, this feels like a mix of modern and classic – a smooth slow jam with trap stylings. It can be divided by its stars – focus more on Bruno’s silky, begging vocals and you get sensual R&B, put the spotlight on Cardi’s confident rapping and it becomes something far more x-rated.
As we’ve come to expect from the newly crowned Grammy-winning artist, she doesn’t shy away from putting it all out there. This time, that takes the form of telling her man exactly how their night is going to go down, beginning with “twerkin’ in some J’s on the dancefloor” before moving things to the bedroom. Because this is Cardi, her first verse is littered with background “eeowwws”, like a chorus of amped-up cats ready to get it on.
If that isn’t enough peak Cardi for you, then maybe the closing lines of the second verse will be. In them, she honours her Hispanic roots (her dad’s side of her family is from the Dominican Republic) while boasting about her sexual superiority. “Your pussy basura/My pussy horchata,” she says, referencing the Spanish word for trash and the sweet, rice-based drink.
‘Please Me’ isn’t the rapper’s best song – she’s far better when she’s got some fire beneath her – but it does show her flipping things on their head once more. Where similar tracks usually have the man calling the shots, she snatches control while making sure she’s getting what she wants too. And for that, we should all bow down to Bardi once more.