Even as Bodak Yellow went from rap radio ubiquity to Billboard hit to your mom’s Facebook in the span of two years, it’s always been clear that Cardi B has a little extra something which distinguishes her from a string of one-hit rappers (Young M.A, Bobby Shmurda, OT Genasis). Her debut album blows all expectations completely out of the water. There are so many great songs on this record that to pick one to talk about is to do a disservice to the others, though “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper is definitely resonating with folks. And we have to give a shout out to Benny Blanco, who got his start producing for Spankrock before becoming a megaproducer on the pop charts; his beat for Cardi (Thru Your Phone) gives us goosebumps.
A really strange thing happens when you watch the video for A$AP Forever for the first time – as you’re sitting through a generic A$AP song (gang gang blah blah) and waiting for the (admittedly pretty compelling) beat to drop for the first two verses, your attention drifts away and you look up the string sample, which sounds very familiar, and as you click away, instead of the beat dropping, it just goes into the entire original song and it’s Moby and just as you are ready to throw your laptop out the window the video ends with a car crash. A lot of people love A$AP mob and we play the fuck out of Ferg’s Plain Jane, so maybe this will grow on us, but Rocky is so unlikeable.
Murda Beats and BlaqNmilD execute a perfect alley oop slam dunk with this NOLA bounce beat, looping up Lauryn Hill and chopping Drake’s vocals, plus the video manages to celebrate women in a way that we really need right now. This doesn’t feel like it’s going to be “Hotline Bling” big but it is definitely going to run the clubs for a while, and it’s way more fun!