Cardi B is coming off having one of the most successful songs of 2020 with the ridiculously viral ‘WAP’ featuring Megan Thee Stallion. The absolute anthem broke the internet with its quotable lyrics and its star studded video, and has become an instant classic in her discography. And now the New York rapper is ready to get everyone talking again with a new track that returns to her roots.
Upon the first listen, ’Up’ is a song that feels like ultimate Cardi B. Explaining that she wanted to do something more “gangsta” and “more cocky”, this song definitely inhabits that. It has a confident flow with strong production that doesn’t hold back in allowing her to deliver a straight fire flow. Written as a diss track to all the people who have hated on her and told her she wasn’t pretty or enough, she shows them exactly who they’re speaking bout. “Once upon a time, man, I heard that I was ugly. Came from a bitch who n**** wanna fuck on me” she spits during the opening lines.
There are a lot of classic Cardi styled quotes that will be used all over TikTok and social media for the coming months with lyrics like “If I had a dick, you’d probably lick it like a lollipop” and “Tatted on my ass cause I really like the pain. He nutted on my butt, I said, I’m glad that you came” taking the cake.
With the energy coming high through the raps, the only thing slightly letting this song down is the predictable and recycled production. With a similar hip-hop beat to her 2018 single ‘Money’, it just sounds like it’s already been done. I was waiting for, and wanting, something that steered the direction a little grittier to match the lyrics she was serving. And while she was almost hitting that mark, the production felt like a recycled nod to something she’d done before instead of a fresh new banger.