I’m glad Cardi B released “Be Careful,” a new single from her forthcoming album Invasion of Privacy, last night. But judging by many of the early takes, a lot of listeners aren’t quite convinced. For those people, I have one question: Are you nuts? The song is a tender, lovelorn ditty that belongs to my favorite subgenre: women burning shit down via veiled threats to the shitty men they love. And it’s got everything: bars, flows, singing, a Lauryn Hill interpolation, a little Spanish, some warnings that may or may not be directed at Offset.
Though she doesn’t mention her fiancé by name in her new single, as she’s done in the past with “Bartier Cardi” and “Motorsport,” she does reference the rumors that he cheated on her. (Six months ago, Offset’s iCloud account was hacked and questionable videos surfaced online.)
In the first verse, Cardi B apparently addresses some of their relationship issues. “I wanna get married, like the Currys, Steph and Ayesha s–t / But we more like Belly; Tommy and Keisha s–t / Gave you TLC, you wanna creep and s–t / Poured out my whole heart to a piece of s–t / Man, I thought you would’ve learned your lesson / ‘Bout liking pictures, not returnin’ texts / I guess it’s fine, man, I get the message / You still stutter after certain questions / You keep in contact with certain exes / Do you, though / Trust me, n—a, it’s cool, though / Said that you was workin’, but you’re out here chasin’ culo / And putas, chillin’ poolside, livin’ two lives / I could’ve did what you did to me to you a few times / But if I did decide to slide, find a n—a / F–k him, suck his d–k, you would’ve been pissed,” Cardi B raps. “But that’s not my M.O., I’m not that type of bitch / And karma for you is gon’ be who you end up with / Don’t make me sick, n—a.”
A week away from the release of her debut album, Cardi is in a complicated position, as someone who has proven that she’s not a one-hit wonder and yet whose success is still treated as a fluke. We know she can do street anthems, we know she can do booming club hits, we know she can fuck up a pop tune. Which is exactly why “Be Careful” is great. It offers a soft, introspective side of Cardi that fans have maybe seen on Instagram but haven’t heard on any songs she’s released since her recent whirlwind success. You’ve met Bartier Cardi, now meet Heartbreak Cardi.