by Regana Alicka
Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2 is here. Three months later than initially expected, but, much like Cardi B herself, it is unapologetically here. Despite their names and similar album artwork featuring Cardi being serviced by beefy male attendants, GBMV2 is not merely a sequel to Cardi’s groundbreakingly successful first mixtape that dropped last March.
On the first track of the mixtape, a true boppington entitled “Bronx Season,” Cardi asks: “Now how much times do I gotta prove these n***** wrong? And how much times I gotta
show these bitches I ain’t soft?” From the first three tracks on the album, “Bronx Season,” “Lick,” and “Hectic,” it is clear that Cardi is through with trying to prove herself in an industry that has underestimated her from day one, given her background as a stripper and Instagram personality. As someone who’s been with the program and caping for Cardi long before her forays into music-making, I am truly touched by how genuinely self-confident Cardi sounds on GBMV2. Somehow, she has stayed true to her roots and at the same time leveled up in so many ways. For example, she’s still using beats from SwiftOnDemand, but the production and vocal mixing are harder than ever. She’s still doing skits (and always shouting out Fordham Road), but they’re funnier than ever. Taking a cue from the success of “Island Girls,” she’s more overtly embracing her Caribbean roots on “Back It Up,” featuring long-time collaborator HoodCelebrityy and dancehall artist Konshens.
However, some elements of the album fall flat compared to these new peaks. “Never Give Up” featuring Josh X is sleepier than any of the other tracks and feels out of place. The last two tracks, “Pull Up” and “Pop Off,” are bangers on their own but they feel too repetitive of the types of hardhitting lyrics and beats that make the beginning of the mixtape so strong. I was personally hoping the tape would veer into more melodic territory a la “I Gotta Hurt You” off GBMV1. Though there’s no real reason Cardi should listen to me, she did warn us that she doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone has to say, and honestly, I will keep living for her regardless. Love you Cardi ❤