Nearly six months after turning “macaroni in a pot” into a dirty euphemism – all while shattering streaming records and giving conservative commentators a reason to clutch their pearls — Cardi B returned with her first new song of 2021, “Up.” Cardi didn’t let the critics get to her, either, because she levels “up” the sexiness by making out with some of her gorgeous dancers in a few steamy scenes filmed inside a giant seashell.
While Cardi dominated music charts in 2020, she also said “RIP” to 2020 in the new visual and launched into a song that pretty much sparked a dance party across Twitter. Cardi herself does a lot of dancing, and changes into a beautifully designed outfit for each one of her mini dance parties within the music video. From a purple pastel cone bra top to a mermaid ensemble, the Grammy-winning artist had no shortage of outfits for this all-out music video…but one costume in particular, though, appeared to have extra special meaning behind it. Towards the end of the music video, Cardi changes into a studded, black leather bodice and fringe arm warmers that looked nearly identical to the late Left Eye‘s leather ensemble in TLC‘s 1999 music video for “No Scrubs” (see what we mean below).
There were many other winks throughout the music video. JAY-Z‘s Armand de Brignac Champagne, marked with his iconic ace of spade logo, also makes a cameo, as does a sex toy (cue the viral audio of Cardi once saying she has a “pink dildo” in her dresser). She also appears to make another throwback reference with her line “If I had a d–k, you’d probably lick it like a lollipop,” which was reminiscent of 50 Cent‘s 2003 hit “Candy Shop.”
Cardi first announced on Sunday (Jan. 31) that she had an “announcement” the following day. Cardi wore a black bikini and long denim coat to make this announcement about the announcement, and the barely-there outfits continued when she revealed “UP.” The cover art features Cardi swinging in a clear half-bubble swing while wearing a pink outfit that left little to the imagination. She recreated the outfit on Tuesday (Feb. 2) in an Instagram video. “The outfit was all sticker on,” she captioned the clip that showed her gyrating in front of a mirror.
“Up” follow’s Cardi’s landmark-in-the-making single, “WAP,” a collab with Megan Thee Stallion that celebrated female sexuality and arrived with a star-studded video. Since then, Cardi had been relatively quiet on the music front. She lent her voice on a BLACKPINK song (“Bet You Wanna” and a track by Anitta, but for the most part, that was it for Cardi. Fans have been eagerly awaiting her follow-up to 2018’s Invasion of Privacy, and it seems Cardi is ready to drop her highly-anticipated sophomore release.
In addition to dropping new music, Cardi is returning to the Super Bowl. Ms. Almánzar, who starred in Pepsi’s gameday ad in 2019, appeared alongside Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) in a Wayne’s World reunion filmed for Uber Eats’ commercial for Super Bowl LV. “Y’all know I love to eat, and right now we have got to be supporting our local restaurants,” Cardi said in a statement about the commercial, which stressed viewers to “Eat Local” by ordering food from neighborhood restaurants via Uber Eats.
“So many spots are struggling right now, and it’s up to us to EAT LOCAL! That’s why I teamed up with Uber Eats and my boys Wayne & Garth to help. Uber Eats is putting $20 million towards helping small businesses across the country, and they’re even offering up free delivery… So it’s time for y’all to support by enjoying some quality eats from your local faves this Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll see you there!”