After a year-long break from releasing music of her own, Cardi B dropped the Megan Thee Stallion-assisted single, “WAP” midnight on Thursday. The NSFW song and video skips thinly veiled sexual innuendos, instead opting for in your face (Lainey: or … in your pussy) lyrics all about how “wet and gushy” their downstairs area is.
This whole song and dance (pun intended) was set up to be a blockbuster. Thursday evening Cardi and Megan got together for a YouTube livestream as a pre-show before the video premiered. Cardi, who started off by revealing “a bitch have asthma right now” from her nerves, was giddy ahead of her most ambitions music video to date. She also spoke up about tearing up reading the positive reaction to the cover art earlier in the week, and addressed the false rumours that her label was putting a hold on her next album. She says she didn’t want to rush to put music out just because people were talking sh-t about how her 15 minutes of fame are up. She wanting to take her time in the studio.
However, when you take that much time — especially in the age of streaming, where music doesn’t have the same shelf life it once did — you gotta come back with something big, something near perfection, and something that will get people talking. That’s why she secured a feature from one of the hottest female rappers out right now, for an ultra-sexed music video, featuring cameos from Kylie Jenner, Rosalia, and Normani.
I’ll be honest, the song didn’t do it for me on the first listen, and I’m a fan of both. I imagined it would be a little bit more anthemic and pop/hip-hop leaning. This is straight up rap and it’s hard to get a song about “wet ass pussy” played on the radio — even the clean version! It doesn’t have the sing-song rhythm of “Bodak Yellow,” or the dance-along beat of “I Like It,” but with the power of streaming and a hungry fanbase eager for your return, radio play may not be needed. If you like raunchy female rap (I do!), this is the pinnacle. Cardi said YouTube even asked her to use the clean version for the music video premiere. But although much of the lyrics are statements they’re directing at their past, present, and future sexual partners, it’s explicitly clear, they’re not chasing these boys, the boys are chasing them … and they’ve got options.
It’s the video that’s the real spectacle. Cardi and Megan are seen walking through a gaudy funhouse mansion where each room features beautiful women. Cardi’s showing some serious skin in a leopard room with a leopard. Megan’s in a white tiger-striped room with, you guessed it, white tigers. Between the eye-catching colour palette and the group choreography, it’s a really stunning clip. The label put some serious money behind Cardi's comeback, and it’s money well spent.
The showstopper, though, according to Twitter, is halfway through, when Kylie Jenner appears without reason or context, to flaunt her assets in a plunging neckline. But the jarring context is that last month, Meg was shot in both her feet after leaving Kylie’s pool party. There are rumours circulating that Kylie was giving and/or receiving too much attention from Tory Lanez at said party which may have caused a spat between Megan and Tory. There are other reports that Kylie kicked Megan and Tory Lanez out of the party after they made a scene. The video was shot before the shooting, but I guess if Kylie’s appearance made the final cut that means all is good between Thee Stallion and the Jenner? All I know is Kylie is still wrong for posting a photo of her foot two days after Megan was shot… in both her feet. And with the audacity to caption the snap: “Thank you God for another beautiful day.”
But like I said, Cardi needed to pull out all the stops to make her comeback single land with an impact, and Kylie clickbait is powerful. Cardi even retweeted one writer who explained how everyone upset about Kylie being in the video will tweet about the video, leading more people to go find out what Kylie was doing in the video. Kylie Jenner was a trending topic on Twitter as soon as the video was released. At that point, her booking fee already paid for itself.
Kylie in the #WAP video equals people moaning about Kylie in the video, which equals people tweeting about Kylie in the video, which equals people who havenâ€™t seen the video going to watch the video to find out why Kylieâ€™s in the video. Cardiâ€™s getting those hits. pic.twitter.com/ADzpFNeFmG— TONI TONE (@t0nit0ne) August 7, 2020
With the power of streaming, and the fact that Cardi’s been selling signed copies of the song on vinyl and cassette, as well as merch bundles for the past few days, I wouldn’t be surprised if this tops the charts next week. But will it have any longevity? “WAP” is the kind of song I’d request at a club, but COVID won’t be having none of that this year, and an iconic music video is only iconic if we’re still talking about it after the news cycle moves on. One thing’s for sure, Cardi did what she needed to do. I feel like the work has been done, the rest is up to chance.
“WAP” music video below. Parental discretion is advised, lol.