Friday, April 13th, 2018

Cardi B – Be Careful



Katie Gill: Taking it slow, Cardi B shows that she can bring a sensual side compared to the braggadocio of her first few singles. That beat is soft and slinky, a perfect compliment to her vocals. On the other hand, that chorus is preeeetty rocky. Thankfully, Cardi’s flow and lyrics in the verses more than make up for any subpar singing in the rest of the song.

Julian Axelrod: After months of extensive research, scientists can confirm: Cardi B is physically incapable of backing down. That’s not a bad thing. One of the many joys of Invasion of Privacy is hearing her singular five-alarm voice slide into more radio-friendly molds without sanding off the edges. Just as “Bodak Yellow” turned a trap template into a pop showcase through sheer force of charisma, “Be Careful” finds pockets of aggression in a lovesick ballad of betrayal. But even as Cardi dunks on Offset like Nas ethering Hov, she’s not above showing some pathos. In the space of a minute she goes from “Do you, though… it’s cool, though” to “My heart is like a package with a fragile label on it,” and the two sentiments might be closer than she lets on. I’ve seen people trash her crooning on the chorus, but I think it encapsulates everything great about the song: a merciless rap goddess showing just enough of her inner pain to let future rivals know she’s not afraid to bleed.

Katherine St Asaph: If you’ve breathed in a single molecule of Music Internet this month, you’ve probably read tons about the Cardi B album, and maybe about this song — specifically its chorus, which according to the Music Internet molecules is bad. It is not bad but near-perfect: tentatively, sneakily good, to match the tentative, sneaky beat. Even the slightest bit more singing would ruin the effect. There’s the surprise, too: a sudden reveal of vulnerability, to mirror her previous sudden uptick in technical skills. I’d even go so far as to call it better than the verses, which she does better elsewhere.

Will Adams: Cardi B’s playful menace has been a consistent asset of hers; the excitement of “Be Careful” is that it’s been translated through a new context: the much-discussed sung chorus. Critics have deemed it as showing a “softer side,” but that really reads as “it’s not as loud as ‘Bodak Yellow'” and also ignores how eerie the song is, in both sound and subtext. “It’s not a threat, it’s a warning,” Cardi intones, but it really sounds like she’s casting a hex.

Alfred Soto: We don’t look to film stars for acting in any conventional sense, so I don’t care that Cardi B often stumbles expressing her vivacity. Besides, few tracks on Invasion of Privacy present her as a Belcalis from the Bronx with so little mitigation. I prefer the plainsong of the verses but have admired the way she stresses “of course” in the chorus for days. 

Thomas Inskeep: Love Cardi. Rooting for her hard. Thrilled that her album’s making such a big splash. Really into the fact that she is showing such musical diversity with her single releases. Just wish that “Be Careful” has more there, there. It’s minimalist to a fault, and frankly, her verses on the “Ahora Dice” remix and to a lesser extent “Motorsport” say the same thing more interestingly and succinctly. “Be Careful” isn’t bad, but it’s a bit blah.

Stephen Eisermann: Initially, I was a bit unconvinced on this one. The sample is interesting, sure, but Cardi’s flow is messy and the emotion doesn’t come through as I expected it to. Then, Cardi performed this live on SNL and she delivered that second verse with more conviction than I’ve ever heard her deliver a verse with. Some of the best art is messy, just like personal relationships, and whether this song is about Cardi’s current relationship or not is irrelevant – she feels this and through her anxiety and declarations of worth, I feel it too.

Adaora Ede: The ghostwrite definitely bit the dust here. Cardi’s debut album is Cardi-by-numbers — Cardi the bad bitch (“Drip”), Cardi the Blood (“Bodak Yellow”), Cardi the charismatic (“I Like It,” “Bickenhead”). The latest Cardi buzz single has Belcalis playing the role of Cardi-the-woman-scorned-but-not-really-because-music-isn’t-personal with cheesy lines to back it all up. “Be Careful” sees Cardi STILL stumbling over her verses like a toddler; without the giddiness and chutzpah of her breakthrough single and heck, even that shitty Machine Gun Kelly it’s Blackbear right? G-Eazy “Slob on My Knob” re-up she was on. It’s nice to see the future Mrs. Set diversify her sound, but she’s doing herself dirty by clomping all over that smooth bossa nova beat. However, I get it. I, too, found myself in a place where I could not resist the alluring relatability of Cardi B. It’s captured not only in her daily Instagram updates and tweets, but her unpracticed vocals, her conversational lines (“I wanna get married/Like the Currys/Steph and Ayesha shit”) and her frankness. “Be Careful” is a homage to all the regular shmegular girls, without a Lemonade budget, who’ve gotten their hearts broken.

Reader average: [3.28] (7 votes)

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One Response to “Cardi B – Be Careful”

  1. great blurbs all, particularly adaora’s

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