When every track on Cardi B’s debut full-length album Invasion of Privacy was certified Gold or higher earlier this week, the rapper cautiously celebrated on her Instagram: “I got sooo much pressure an anxiety cause I know I gotta kill it with my second one,” she wrote in the caption of screenshot. But that anxiety is nowhere in sight in the brazen, boastful “Money,” her first post-Invasion single (released in October) for which she just dropped a new video, right in time for the holidays. There’s no self-doubt here; it’s all confidence, hedonism, and Cardi portraying herself as a literal work of art. There’s even a cameo by baby Kulture, nestled against her mother’s chest and breastfeeding in a bank while bills flutter through the air.
The new video was directed by Jora Frantzis, a frequent collaborator of Cardi who also directed the video for “Be Careful,” off Invasion of Privacy. Gone are the spaghetti western Kill Bill overtones of its predecessor, though; it opens with a dancer swinging hypnotically around a pole—a nod to Cardi’s dancer origins—and a fleet of women in garter belts, oversized black fascinators, strands of pearls, and open blazers baring nipples surrounding Cardi in the center of their midst, the male gaze so often seen in music videos—especially rap videos—inverted. Throughout the video, she’s portrayed in a glass case at the center of a museum room; as a gold statue on a spinning display, bearing a slight (and can’t-possibly-be-accidental) resemblance to Nicki Minaj’s Mert & Marcus-directed “Ganja Burn” look; and as the Madonna breastfeeding her baby. She plays the piano in the nude (or at least sits at a piano in the nude). She pole dances as part of a gravity-defying trio suspended in the air.
(There’s also a brief Beats By Dre placement—so here’s hoping that, as Cardi evangelizes in the track, she’s getting her money for her troubles.)
“I was born to flex,” she raps through the chorus. “But nothing in this world that I like more than checks.”
If this is the first hint of Cardi post-Invasion of Privacy, she’s pulling it off. That is—in the immortal words of Belcalis Almanzar herself, she doesn’t dance now; she makes money moves.