Cardi B’s “Press” has fans trying to break down every lyric, photo and cryptic post from the artist about what her new song really means.
The rapper released the track at midnight on Friday, and it’s already received more than 4.5 million views on her official YouTube channel.
On a first listen, the two-minute song might give people the impression that Cardi is calling out the news media.
“Cardi don’t need more press,” she explicitly raps in the song.
But a close look at her lyrics will show that’s just scratching the surface to the single.
“B****** be pressed (Woo) / B****** be pressed (Pressed),” the artist says in the intro.
The use of “pressed” versus “press” is key when trying to glean some insight on what Cardi wants people to understand.
“Pressed” in this context could reference the state of someone being pressured — pressured to have a certain image, to behave a particular way, to say the expected.
Since Cardi B’s album “Invasion of Privacy” release last year, she’s been vocal about how everyone — fans, the media and even other celebrities — have tried to pressure her to be someone she isn’t.
Cardi released a series of images ahead of the anticipated track release. Finally, she revealed the photos for her cover art, including a photo of Cardi handcuffed and naked as she walks past a group of paparrazzi and police — all men.
Cardi can feel their looks of anger and disgust as they “press” their judgment on her.
And Cardi isn’t the only person she thinks has experienced something like this.
The Grammy-winning artist also posted a photo this week of her holding her hands handcuffed to her neck, channeling a familiar photo of the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
Wuornos, who inspired the 2003 movie “Monster,” was convicted and executed for six murders. Wuornos, a prostitute, claimed that her male victims were her clients and killed them out of self-defense, according to IMDb.
Cardi also talks about being a monster in “Press,” which again could be a nod to Wuornos.
During Cardi B’s career, she’s faced headlines about her beef with Nicki Minaj, her violent past including a brawl at a strip club and even recently about her decision to have plastic surgery.
But if the rapper’s new song tells listeners anything, it’s that Cardi will be Cardi — regardless of what her critics think.