Captivating hearts with her vivacious personality and unapologetically raw lyrics, Cardi B etched her mark into the world of music with her hit song ‘I Like It’.
A bilingual trip into the chart-topping rapper’s Dominican and Trinidadian roots blended with modern day hip-hop tempos, the track was a revolutionary step in merging Latin trap and reggae into mainstream pop culture.
And today we’re here to learn more about the song meaning of Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin’;’s collaboration, “I Like It”.
Cardi B – I Like It Music Video
While reading, you can play the video below to have the song as background music. Or just enjoy it once more before jumping into all the explanations.
If you would like to learn about another hit song with a slightly different approach, I recommend reading my previous article, Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean? song meaning.
Background and Composition of ‘I Like It’
Cardi B’s hit song ‘I Like It’ was released in May 2018 as the fifth single from her debut album, ‘Invasion of Privacy’.
The song, which is a fusion of Latin trap and reggae, is a reimagining of Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 boogaloo hit ‘I Like It Like That’.
Several people collaborated in the songwriting process. Cardi B shares writing credits with 30 Roc, Craig Kallman, J. White Did It, Anthony White, Edgar Machuca, Tainy, and Neon16.
These contributors all played a part in creating a track that is a celebration of her Latin heritage.
‘I Like It’ features artists J Balvin and Bad Bunny, who, along with Cardi B, bring a high energy Latino vibe to the song.
And if you want to stick to hip hop music, but this time a bit deeper and not as party-oriented, I recommend reading my previous article explaining 2Pac’s Changes song meaning.
“I Like It” Song Meaning (by Cardi B)
Within its cultural context, ‘I Like It’ is a recognition of Cardi B’s roots while also embracing her current status.
It’s an unapologetic party anthem that reflects her love for her Latin heritage and her current life, which has been greatly influenced by her rise to fame.
The lyrics of ‘I Like It’ by Cardi B begins with an expression of her fondness for luxury, symbolizing her recent success and rise to fame.
The phrase “I like texts from my exes when they want a second chance” dismisses previous personal and romantic relationships, indicating her focus on the present and future.
Subsequently, Bad Bunny energizes the song with his reggae-style Spanish rhymes. His contribution signifies the mix of cultures and languages that classify the song as a quintessential Latin trap masterpiece.
J Balvin carries the same energy, with his lyrics in Spanish. His verse supplements the multicultural atmospheric tone of the song while also celebrating his success, rise, and the pride he embraces in his roots.
To sum it up, the song talks about acceptance of oneself, appreciation of one’s roots, and the lifestyle modifications that come with achieving stardom.
The song portrays the intersection of three lives, Cardi B, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny; all Latin American heritage bearers, who have confronted personal struggles to reach international fame.
Therefore, ‘I Like It’ stands as a robust anthem celebrating cultural heritage and individual growth.
The song also mirrors the expanding impact of Latin music on the worldwide music scene, with ‘I Like It’ turning into one of the trendiest Latin songs of recent times.
There are numerous hidden meanings and metaphors within I Like It’s lyrics that offer glimpses into Cardi B’s life and her heritage.
When Cardi B sings, “I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks,” she is not only referencing her love for the brand’s high-end fashion but possibly hinting at the struggles she faced prior to her fame when such luxury was unattainable.
When she proclaims, “I was born to flex, diamonds on my neck”, she is showcasing her success – success she earned through hardship and determination.
Her expression transcends the literal jewelry on her body, symbolizing the overcoming of her socioeconomic barriers.
Cultural Impact and Critical Reception
Upon its release in 2018, ‘I Like It’ quickly transcended the realm of being simply a popular hit.
It’s seen as a unifying force between Latin and American pop culture, underpinned by Cardi B’s Dominican and Trinidadian heritage and her affinity for Latin music.
In terms of chart performance, ‘I Like It’ soared to the top, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
This made Cardi B the first female rapper to have two number one hits on this chart. The song was also a cross-genre hit, reaching top spots on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts.
On an international scale, ‘I Like It’ made strong impressions, climbing music charts throughout the world, and even reaching the top 10 in many countries worldwide.
“I Like It,” a seminal track in Cardi B’s repertoire, signifies a pivotal step in her career by indicating artistic evolution and earning international acclaim.
This track showcases her talent in fostering cultural interaction through her music, making an outstanding contribution to the ever-changing world of mainstream pop music.
‘I Like It’ is more than just a chart-topping hit for Cardi B; it is a cultural milestone that celebrates her Hispanic heritage whilst revolutionizing the music industry’s perception of Latin trap and reggae fusion.
And now that you’re done reading about this song, you might want to continue learning about other important hits. I recommend reading next my article explaining the song meaning of Noah Kahan’s You’re Gonna Go Far top hit.