Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Cardi B rants about the news, still manages to create a hit single
Photo: Prince Williams (Getty Images)

Cardi B is one of the few celebrities whose opinions on the news we actually want to hear. In the past, she’s mixed stuff like hosting conversations on government policy alongside her pal Bernie Sanders with an Instagram post blasting Trump whose description ends by saying, “ANYWAYS TWERK VIDEO OUT NOW.” She is the town crier of popular culture, summing up our latest frustrations and fears into a social media feed that’s just as likely to include her screaming in shock at her own broadcasts as warning people to take the coronavirus seriously and holding forth on how unequally distributed tests and healthcare access are leading to widespread confusion as well as unnecessary illnesses and death.

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Cardi’s dispatches are capturing the feelings of ordinary people, scared and angry about the times we live in—and there’s no better example of how true this is than the fact that people are remixing her first coronavirus rant into popular songs.

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This week, Billboard reported that an iMarkkeyz track based on the above post debuted at number nine on its Rap Digital Song Sales listing and is positioned for “a No. 13 start on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales charts dated March 28.” People, it seems, are latching onto hearing a song where Cardi is sampled saying “Coronavirus! Shit is real!” and laughing when, just a few weeks ago, the public wasn’t taking it seriously enough.

More recently, a remix from DJ Snake took the same post and focused on its best parts: Cardi B just yelling “Coronavirus!” and “Shit is getting real!” Like the iMarkkeyz track, a lot of listeners seem to be getting some catharsis from hearing a well known voice just roaring out the name of a pandemic we can’t stop thinking and worrying about. The video’s been liked 156,000 times.

Considering how detached from reality most other public figures seem to be right about now, let’s tune them out in favor of the few who seem to actually get it, whether they’re offering helpful PSAs or just screaming the name of our enemy over some sick beats. Shit is, after all, getting real, and only the celebrities who embrace that realness are worth caring about.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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