The surging popularity of Instagram Live streaming has allowed celebrities to continue receiving their necessary fixes of attention, even while in self-isolation. And hip-hop and R&B stars, a bunch of people particularly resistant to PR training, have stepped up to the plate.
Here’s how they’re passing the time during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cardi B delivers lectures on socialism … and spreads misinformation
Cardi B has been holding regular live streams that feel like reality show confessionals meet presidential press briefings. The boisterous rants have led many to call Cardi the new president, an epithet she basks in. In the sessions, you can find her lamenting her current diet (“I shouldn’t be eating cereal! I should be in a restaurant eating sushi right now”), calling for expansions of Medicare and unemployment benefits, and accusing celebrities of enjoying easier access to coronavirus tests. All while frequently wearing a bedazzled face mask inside her Atlanta mansion.
Unfortunately, Cardi’s lectures can occasionally veer off course and become more InfoWars than CNN. During one, she briefly indulged in rumors, spread within China, that the US or another superpower had planted Covid-19 in China. “A lot of people owe money to China, y’all,” she said. Before that, she wondered if the government was paying celebrities to say they have coronavirus. Why they would do so Cardi never made clear and, after days of pondering on this wild, off-the-cuff accusation, I still can’t come up with an explanation, because the last thing Miss Rona needs is more publicity. Regardless, Cardi is not concerned with the morality of such an elaborate conspiracy theory – she simply wants a check too. “If you are … pay me too!” she pleaded to the government, implying she would be willing to lie about having the virus. “Bitch tryna get paid.”
Cardi B calls out celebrities & the government:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 25, 2020
“If [Trump] is saying ‘if you don’t have any symptoms of the Coronavirus do not get tested because we don’t have enough tests’ but a celebrity is saying ‘I don’t have symptoms but I got tested & I’m positive’ that causes confusion” pic.twitter.com/VgKFqIBH8h
Lil Yachty creates his own virtual Fear Factor game
Rapper Lil Yachty loves a good laugh … at the expense of his own fans. Yachty, who first found fame through Soundcloud and Instagram, paid fans to perform bizarre acts for his amusement. “Erase it,” he joked as a fan vigorously shaved their eyebrow off for the meager price of $200. Then the stream took a dark and abusive turn as fans ate items including condoms, shaving cream, deodorant and dog food. Lil Yachty called the entire affair a “talent show”. Sadistic would have been a better word.
Tory Lanez’s IG Live becomes a strip club
Perhaps we should’nt be surprised that someone who has written multiple odes to butts has appointed himself the judge of a twerking competition. Tory Lanez channeled Billy Porter in the FX series Pose and MC-ed his female fans “bending it over” for over 30K viewers. Twerking can be an empowering experience. However, this IG Live featured plain old-fashioned objectification and sexism as Lanez pressured female fans to lift up their skirts and “clap that ass” for the internet. Toxic.
Snoop Dogg delivers a social isolation PSA
Snoop Dogg is working hard to re-establish himself as someone who possesses an iota of reason, after his humiliating and degrading feud with Gayle King last month. The rapper told his fans to obey CDC guidelines to self-isolate, saying “chill” and “watch Sportscenter”. He revealed that the social distancing was tough for him too. “Shit, I can’t even get my hair done,” Snoop, who also loves a good manicure, muttered.
Brand partnership in the quarantine times is Snoop Dogg live streaming himself smoking weed and listening to music like a bored 17 year old billed as a DJ Event on the Levi’s Pants Instagram page. Maybe there are jobs for me in this world. pic.twitter.com/XDTfcPipWF— Zach Harris (@PotCzach) March 25, 2020
Bad Bunny rejects toxic masculinity
Bad Bunny has decided to spend his quarantine pushing the limits through self-isolation nudes (that, in our opinion, feel specifically tailored for the queer gaze) and undergoing a drag transformation. Looks like someone is a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race. In his video for Yo Perreo Sola, released Friday, the Puerto Rican rapper said he had embraced a drag persona because he “wrote the song from a woman’s perspective – but I do feel like that woman sometimes”. Bunny is quickly becoming the LGBTQ community’s newest ally. Recently, he revealed that while he currently identifies as heterosexual, “I don’t know if in 20 years I will like a man. One never knows in life.” Whatever that means.
Tyler Perry, Jennifer Hudson and others go full Gal Gadot
That cringe cover of Imagine by Gal Gadot, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and a dozen other off-pitch celebs is still scorched in our brains. Thankfully, Tyler Perry provided a remedy through a rendition of the song He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands, a staple in black churches. The video features powerhouse voices such as Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Yolanda Adams and Johnny Gill and is unexpectedly uplifting. Watch and learn, Gadot.