You’ll surely recall the scandal over Cardi B drugging and robbing her sex work clients back in the day. “I never claimed to be perfect or come from a perfect world with a perfect past,” she explained in March after a controversial live video surfaced in which the rapper admitted to committing questionable acts to survive. “I always speak my truth, I always own my shit.”
Consider the new clip for the aggressive and taunting new single “Press” her artistic doubling-down on the matter. In it, Cardi leaves a bloody swath in her wake, a string of aggressors turned victims who we never quite see the triumphant Bronx emcee slaughter — even her backup dancers get the chop. The remorseless carnage is strung to a series of defiant flows. Add them to the pile of her most adrenaline-revving solo songs from her earlier Gangsta Bitch Music days. Oh, and she’s fully-nude for a great part of the video.
Director Jora Frantzis (remember her striking visual acumen from past Cardi collabs “Money” and “Be Careful”) provides a visual feast designed to get viewers out of your seat. The tag team bedroom killing of a hapless gentleman, the all-woman legal team cutting through a sea of desperate fans outside the courthouse, the squad of Barbie-crotched bionic dancers, a printed silk interrogation outfit in a moment that makes Sharon Stone look like a saint in Basic Instinct. At this point in her career, Belcalis’ team is curating a designer luxe image of authentic-theatric violence that stands up to any man of rap’s bullet-ridden hustler narrative.
Watch the video here: