As a song, “Bartier Cardi” is self-indulgent. From the opening line, “Your bitch wanna party with Cardi,” Cardi B makes it known that she’s not here to be humble. Celebrating her newfound fame and fortune, Cardi B revels in the luxury that comes with being the center of pop culture attention. With “Bartier Cardi,” she has her cake and eats it too, wearing her Cinderella crown with pride, dropping verses about her diamonds, her Ferrari, her Offset without even a second glance.
It makes sense, then, that the music video for “Bartier Cardi” is equally as ostentatious, glittering with excessive opulence and starring Cardi B: necklaces winking in the spotlight, nearly engulfed by a bright red fur coat, blonde hair piled high. Marilyn Monroe, eat your heart out.
The video opens on the sun-bleached decks of a pool house, marble statues waving from the peripheries as Cardi B mutters, “Bardi in a ’Rari, diamonds all over my body / Shinin’ all over my body,” in the background. Wealth is disposable here: shots of dollar bills lying forgotten in the water, rooms overrun by elaborate fruit plates and furniture arrangements and girls in every corner, reclining in fur robes, swiping the frosting off of cakes with one bored finger.
In every location of the music video, as it moves from the pool to a dimly lit labyrinth where men with 8-packs walk around like Ken dolls before finally ending at an underground party, Cardi B is omnipresent. She watches on from television sets placed in discreet corners, as girls count endless piles of money. She shows her influence through the “Cardi” tattoos that grace each of the shirtless men’s necks. These people are her accessories. Fallen completely under her spell, they can’t take their eyes off her pixelated image on the screen. Even 21 Savage ends up entranced, after being tied up in front of a row of glaring TVs in a scene taken straight out of “1984.”
At times, “Bartier Cardi”’s music video can be overdone; the shots of Cardi reclining on the hood of a car coupled with clips of Cardi and Offset wrapped around each other in that same car’s backseat borders on cliché — a lower quality version of what Beyoncé already did in “Partition.”
But, to be fair, this is Cardi B — the woman who once said she would most likely find her dream man in a strip club — so over the top can be expected, even embraced. After all, she never seems happier or more comfortable than she does at the end of the music video, as a beautiful bride dressed head to toe in white (fur coat on, as always), walking into a party created just for her.