The comeback: Cardi B’s long-awaited return to the rap game

Cardi B has just made her return into the rap industry, making her the first major comeback of 2021 and setting the tone for the rest of the musical year.

By Gabriel Levi

“If it’s up then it’s stuck!” The queen of WAP herself, Cardi B, has made her musical comeback with the release of her single “Up” on Feb. 5, a hard-hitting trap beat laced with clever bars.

The opening lyrics, “Once upon a time, man I heard that I was ugly. Came from a b who n wanna f*** on me,” remind us all of who Cardi B is. She’s fun, she’s erotic, she’s funny and most of all, she’s back!

After the comical intro, Cardi goes into the fast-paced refrain where she shouts, “Broke boys don’t deserve no p*****, I know that’s right!” This was a pleasant change of pace from the rapper, because I’m used to hearing Cardi ride the beat instead of attacking it. This change of pace from her lets me know that she has taken all the criticism and turned it into checks.

When Cardi’s hit song, “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, was released in August 2020, it did not take long for Twitter users and TikTokers alike to rip her to shreds over her lackluster performance. In their opinion, Megan carried the song and Cardi ended up being the feature. In my opinion, Cardi was “meh,” but it wasn’t anything I haven’t heard before.

With the release of “Up,” Cardi had something to prove: Could she carry a song by herself? In my opinion, she did more than prove herself; she sent out a warning. Doubt Cardi B, and you will eat your words on a silver platter.

Chile — don’t even get me started on the video. Cardi turned out several looks inspired by everything from TLC to funeral couture, and it was SICKENING! The two minute, 50 second video felt like scenes from a movie, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t want it to end.

Overall, Mrs. B’s song “Up,” gets a bop out of 10 from me. She has definitely just made the best comeback of 2021 so far, but I don’t think this is the last artist we’ll be hearing from this year.

Several powerhouses in the music industry like Sza, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande are rumored to be dropping new projects this year, making 2021 a year defined by musical comebacks.

Sza has released two singles in the past 6 months, indicating that she is about to start the release process for her upcoming project.

Nicki Minaj recently came out of hiatus to tweet “Love you so much. Wow,” on Feb. 3, 2020, and Ariana is already in the process of releasing a “Positions” deluxe album.

Cardi B just set the tone for the rest of the music to be released this year. If they follow suit after “Up,” 2021 will be a very good year for music indeed. The legends are finally making their long-awaited return into the musical atmosphere, and I don’t think anyone is ready for what’s about to happen next.

Edited by Chloe Konrad | ckonrad@themaneater.com

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