Contrary to what Cardi B may have lead you to believe on her previous releases, she has a fragile side. While “Be Careful” is certainly a scathing post-breakup track, its chorus doesn’t shy away from Cardi’s vulnerability: “Yeah, my heart is like a package with a fragile label on it / Be careful with me.” Trading in the booming atmosphere of her party anthems, Cardi raps and croons over a lilting, tender synth line, undercut with sparse snares and only the subtlest ripple of bass. It’s a total 180 in comparison to hits “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Cardi,” but an impressive, intriguing lead up to the release of a new album next Friday, Apr. 6.
On “Be Careful,” the phrase takes on a double meaning. Cardi warns her past lover that actions have consequences, while warning future lovers that she won’t tolerate offense or infidelity. She raps on the second verse, “Teach me to be like you so I can not give a fuck / Free to mess with someone else, I wish these feelings could melt / ’Cause you don’t care about a thing except your mothafuckin’ self,” spiteful of her own emotions and the apathy of a significant other. The lyricism is surprisingly emotional here, and much more introspective than most of her previous work. It’s anyone’s guess if this lead single is indicative of the tone for the rest of the album, but thankfully we only have a few more days before finding out.