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The Timing of Cardi B's "Be Careful"


Video: Cardi B/Youtube

On April 25, 2018 Cardi B released her album Invasion of Privacy. The album for anyone who has not heard it, is one of those rare albums, because every song on the album is surprisingly fresh sounding and wittily penned. No filler songs here, because every song is strong. Before the album was released, it's release was pushed back a few times, because Cardi B insisted she was not satisfied and was still working on it. Many were puzzled why a new artist would take so long to release her debut album instead of capitalizing on the buzz. Cardi B took a gamble, by taking her time for her albums release, and it undoubtedly was the right decision.

This lesson may have played a role in her release of the video for "Be Careful." With almost a two month wait from the release of "Be Careful" as a single and the music video's release, the question arises, was waiting so long the right call?

In terms of Youtube views, a very important factor for better or worse, the wait may have not been worth it, since four days after it's release it is presently under 10 million views. Although, views for the video will continue to grow, when music videos are released too spaced out from the singles release, the video generally isn't given that much attention, which is such a shame because the video for "Be Careful" is amazing.

As a similar comparison, Nicki Minaj released "Chun-Li" and "Barbie Tingz" in the same way with a significant amount of time between the time of the single's release and the video release. Although the videos for "Chun-Li" and "Barbie Tingz" are great, if you look at their views numbers it is not reflective of how good Minaj's videos are, with neither video having reached 50 million views after all this time.

The music video for Minaj's "Anaconda" to add some perspective was released 14 days after the song was released, and because the song was still so new, the video was seen a then record breaking 19.6 million times in the first 24 hours of its release. Similarly, the release of "Bodak Yellow" as a single and it's accompanying video were only ten days apart.

Putting views and all sorts of numerical metrics of success aside, let's recall that Cardi B is an artist who is very detail-oriented and is careful about crafting her body of work in a particular way. So, artistically speaking, if the "Be Careful" video could not have been made sooner without losing quality and her artistic integrity, than the decision to hold off on making the video may have been the right one.

It's also important to mention that Cardi B has been extremely busy since the release of "Be Careful" as a single. Cardi B performed at Coachella and Broccoli Fest, and appeared at The Met Gala and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, all while being pregnant. So, perhaps the video was made simply as soon as it could have possibly been made, because you can only be in so many places in such little time.

The music video for "Be Careful" is inspired by Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies. Kill Bill was the perfect inspiration for the "Be Careful" video, because in Kill Bill, the protagonist is wronged by a group of people who should have been careful and known better to think they could wrong her and get away with it. Like parts of Kill Bill, the "Be Careful" music video is set at a church, in the desert. In it, Cardi B raps about her highs and lows as she wed's her fictional husband, then says her goodbyes to her deceased husband, as he lays in his coffin, as she stands above his coffin her words serve to remind him that although he is dead, he still better be careful. There is no doubt he better listen, before she releases a follow up song titled, "I Thought I Told You To Be Careful."

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