Before she became a pop star, Cardi B came up by spitting gang shit over hard beats in YouTube videos. Cardi’s pre-“Bodak Yellow” music isn’t that far removed from the Chicago drill that was still bubbling at the time. Drill has changed a lot since then, and one particular drill subgenre has become the dominant rap sound of the Bronx, Cardi’s home borough. Today, Cardi has teamed up with a bunch of young Bronx drill rappers to put her own spin on that ever-changing sound.
The specific Bronx thing that’s blowing up now is what’s called “sample drill” — UK/Brooklyn style wobbly-bassline drill where the beats are built from instantly-recognizable past pop hits. That’s the style that Cardi uses on “Shake It,” her new collaboration with ascendant drill artists Kay Flock, Dougie B, and Bory300. For this song, the first real Cardi single since her 2021 chart-topper “Up,” producer Elias Beatz uses Akon’s “Bananza (Belly Dancer)” and Sean Paul’s “Temperature,” two songs you probably haven’t thought about in a long time.
Cardi doesn’t sound as hungry as her younger collaborators on “Shake It,” but she still steals the track, recapturing the ferocity of her old music. I really like the way she says “hakuna matata.” The track is chaotic and fun, and it’s got the sort of mobbing-on-street-corners video that a drill anthem needs to have. Check it out below.
“Shake It” is out now on UMG.