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Meaning of ‘I Do’ by ‘Cardi B’ feat. SZA

Released: 2018 • Features: SZA

In “I Do” by Cardi B featuring SZA, Cardi spits about embracing her power and independence as a woman in the hip-hop industry. The track ultimately is a bold assertion of her right to live unapologetically, flaunting her wealth, sexual prowess, and career success – all of which she’s achieved on her own terms, breaking societal norms and expectations.

Cardi opens the track with the lines, “I left a nigga on read ’cause I felt like it” and repeats the theme “I do what I like, I do, I do” throughout, signifying a refusal to be controlled by any man. She’s deliberately leaving messages unread and doing as she pleases, emphasizing her agency and independence.

When she raps “Dress me down in that Red, Saint Laurent jacket, Dapper, dapper, I look fine and my checks divine,” she brags about her wealth and fashion sense, a common theme in hip-hop. She’s wearing expensive, designer clothing and is never shy about flexing her monetary success.

The lines, “Think you broke hoes need to get a job, now I’m a boss, I write my own name on the checks,” encapsulates Cardi’s evolution from her previous job as a stripper to a self-made, successful rapper. Here, she’s rubbing her success in the faces of her haters, suggesting that they need to elevate their hustle.

The lyrics “These heels are Givenchy, hoe. These are some boss bitch shoes. If you ain’t no boss bitch, move, ay,” serve to further reiterate the themes of luxury and wealth. Here, Cardi identifies her extravagant fashion as symbols of her success and assertion of power.

Cardi’s lines, “For the record, I set record, record sales. I like niggas that been in and outta jail,” show that she’s proud of her accomplishments and doesn’t care about society’s standards or expectations. She sees value in the struggle and those who’ve faced it.

In the part, “Leave his texts on read, leave his balls on blue. Put it on airplane mode so none of those calls come through,” Cardi again asserts her control over men and takes a stand on her sexual autonomy. The end message to her female fans is clear: don’t settle for less, especially in relationships. Make sure any potential partner contributes positively to your life.

“I Do” is a defiant declaration from Cardi that she’s on top of her game, she can do whatever she wants, and won’t be boxed into anybody’s expectations. It’s a raw, fierce, and unapologetic ode to female empowerment and dominance.

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