The day has arrived: the regular degular shmegular girl from the Bronx has finally unleashed her major label debut album. Since Cardi B first teased the project at Philadelphia’s Made In America festival last fall, the Bardi Gang has been patiently waiting for the arrival of Invasion of Privacy. Fans are still digesting the album, but one thing’s immediately clear from a quick scan of the tracklist: the project features a whole host of previously unannounced guest features, including YG, Kehlani, and Chance the Rapper. Perhaps most surprisingly, Latin trap poster boy Bad Bunny and Colombian reggaeton superstar J Balvin make an appearance.
On “I Like It,” Cardi, Balvin, and El Conejo Malo join forces for their first-ever collab, though Cardi had previously appeared on the “Ahora Dice” remix with Balvin. The explosive trap track samples Pete Rodriguez’s classic boogaloo “I Like It Like That” – an iconic number that is synonymous with the rise of boogaloo, a 1960s music movement that blends R&B, soul, and mambo.
In the first verse, Cardi flaunts her love of fine things – though she keeps it real and makes sure we remember she’s still eating Halal in her Lambo (stars, they’re just like us!). True to form, Bad Bunny’s verse is packed with pop culture references, including WWE star Eddie Guerrero, his own hit “Chambea,” and even Dominican TV host Charytín. But El Conejo Malo surprises us with a few bars in English, rapping: “I spend in the club, while you hop on in the bank/This is the new religion, bang, en Latino gang.” Balvin hops in for a playful final verse, boasting about hearing his 2017 hit “Mi Gente” everywhere.
Though it’s far from the first time Cardi links up with Latino superstars, it’s certainly the first collaboration that will be marketed to a general audience, escaping the segmentation of the Latin music market. Previous tracks like the “Ahora Dice” remix and Ozuna link-up “La Modelo” have largely circulated on Latin radio, so Cardi’s choice to include the crossover hit as an original track on her album is major. Only time will tell if the hit capitalizes on the success of 2017 hits like “Despacito” and “Mi Gente.” In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for a rumored music video featuring Cardi, El Conejo Malo, and Balvin.