Cardi B plays both blushing bride and vengeful widow in her new music video for “Be Careful,” the most vulnerable song from her debut album Invasion of Privacy.
Maybe it was that vulnerability that triggered ambivalence toward the song upon its initial release back in March; after a string of more boastful bangers, fans either embraced or rejected Cardi’s softer, more mournful side. Or they just weren’t crazy about the flow.
I was firmly in the latter category before watching Cardi’s Western-style video. The visuals help give the song—a warning about the importance of reciprocity in a relationship—more heft. There’s the immaculate Catholic church setting in the middle of the desert, Cardi literally glowing as she approaches an altar in a white wedding dress and, later, Cardi draped in black as she raps into her ain’t-shit husband’s open casket. The storyline turns one of Cardi’s arguably more lackluster songs into a juicy little drama.
There’s a clear Kill Bill inspiration, but the video also makes the case for Westworld (is Cardi a host?) slash Western style having a fashion and cultural moment right now. This could easily just be the rhinestone cowboy look of the early ’00s making a comeback, but Westworld is more topical, so let’s go with that. Yee haw, eeeooooow!