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Track Review

Hip-hop phenomenon Cardi B was buzzing in 2018. And as we roll into 2019, she’s still making noise. Two weeks ago, Cardi dropped the video for her new song “Money.”

It. Is. Graphic.

The video has garnered 25 million views. And with no age restriction and no warning whatsoever on this nudity-and-profanity-filled video, YouTube has helped boost Cardi to an even higher platform as she raps about dinero being the center of her existence.

What’s a Girl Need? Money.

Let’s make this simple. Cardi wants three things: money, sex and bling. And the aptly named "Money" pretty much bounces explicitly and profanely between those topics.

After a too-graphic-to-print opening verse describing a sexual encounter, the song's second verse finds Cardi bragging, “I was born to flex (yes)/Diamonds on my neck.” She also enjoys “boardin' jets” and “mornin' sex.” In the end, though, cash is king (or perhaps queen in Cardi's case): "But nothing in this world that I like more than checks (money)."

And though some risqué rumors may have suggested that this former stripper cares more about sex than anything else, she crudely assures listeners that’s not true: “All I really wanna see is the (money)/I don't really need the D, I need the (money)/All a bad b--ch need is the (money).” She’s all about the material things her money can buy (“I gotta fly, I need a jet, s---”) for herself and her new baby girl, Kulture (“I got a baby, I need some money, yeah/I need cheese for my egg”).

And if you try to stand in her way, she will take you out (“All y'all b--ches in trouble/Bring brass knuckles to the scuffle”).

What Matters Most? Money.

The song's explicit, profane and materialistic lyrics are bad enough. But the video adds new, graphic layers to an already problematic track.

The opening shot shows Cardi twirling and dancing on an invisible pole in a mansion, nearly naked and remembering her former days as an exotic dancer: “Shake a little a-- (money)/You get a little bag and take it to the store (store, money)/Get a little cash (money)/You shake it real fast, you get a little more (money).”

Meanwhile, Cardi’s backup dancers are dressed in suit coats that fully expose their breasts, while Cardi herself towers above the rest in an outfit that emphasizes her cleavage.

As the video progresses, frontal nudity is barely avoided in more racy scenes. One features Cardi writhing in a glass cage, on display for a wealthy, elderly, white male and female audience (who are drinking champagne and wine). The camera also zooms in on Cardi’s backup dancers in thongs as they cash in their money at the bank. When vault doors are opened, Cardi crouches inside wearing an exotic bra and thong.

Later, Cardi is seen at the strip club and in an elegant outfit where she is now the one paying other women to dance for her. Throughout, Cardi and other women twerk and simulate various sexual movements.

It's been suggested that the video seeks to show Cardi as a woman who wears many hats. But most of the time here, she's not wearing much of anything. Cardi is a new mom, and a few scenes show her breastfeeding in a stylish outfit, her baby strategically covering her chest. (Some might argue that Cardi B is trying to make a statement about public breastfeeding here; but in a video filled with erotic material, let’s just say that her main goal isn't to be seen as a breastfeeding, working mom.) Still another scene shows her naked from the rear as she plays a piano.

So even if Cardi says what matters most is money, she's undeniably pursuing one strategy for making it: exploiting herself and the other women who appear with her.

I Forget. What's It All About? Oh yeah: Money.

YouTube has no problem deleting content when it's deemed inappropriate or explicit. But make no mistake: the video for “Money" is filled with borderline pornographic imagery, including bare backsides, exposed breasts and strippers pantomiming sexual movements in barely there outfits.

For some reason, though, YouTube apparently chooses to look the other way. Could it be, maybe, I dunno, the money? And there's nothing here to indicate that this video is full of sexually explicit material, nothing to restrict young fans from, or warn parents about, its soft-core images.

And so, Cardi's latest offers yet another reminder to parents that our culture's content gatekeepers have no problem shifting their standards when it suits them. And as for Cardi B, the video for "Money" once again demonstrates this influential artist's willingness to demean herself and other women in her pursuit of the one thing she declares matters the most.

Positive Elements

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Sexual Content

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Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Record Label





October 23, 2018

On Video

Year Published



Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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