Cardi B: A voice of the people
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives. This is no longer a shocking statement. But as reality started to take shape, Cardi B played some sort of anthem on March 10, 2020. The rapper, songwriter, and popular social media personality amusingly announced the arrival of the disease upon her Instagram profile after his tour was suspended. On video, she expressed her frustrations, doubts and fears about the virus, emotions that most Americans could identify with at the time. Her talk of profanity in her see-through chain-link dress was quickly transformed to the top of the Billboard charts Song « Coronavirus »., remixed and produced by DJ iMarkkeyz. The rapper has since used her platform, which has a following of over 62 million people, as a beacon of help, hope, and reality.
Cardi’s energetically layered responses to the coronavirus are certainly different from the standard we’re used to when it comes to celebrities giving and informing their fans and audiences.Above ground, 27-year-old Bronx native Cardi B (born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) he looks like an over-the-top social media mogul using his body to gain public attention. To some extent, that’s true, but his debut album Violation of privacy revealed to be a much more layered individual than usually shown. On that album he raps and sings about relationship difficulties, infidelity, and various obstacles on the road to success. And yes, he also raps a lot about money, sex and power.
cTextually, Cardi B is like most Americans: nuanced, worried, confident, and skeptical. He’s even like most self-described capitalists, even if he wouldn’t give himself that label. Regardless, she’s more of one than she probably would like to admit: a private citizen willing to use her life experiences, fashion, and body (his resources) to rack up profits. Anyway her from poverty to riches the story is in line with the « American Dream » mantra.
Cardi B’s demanding personality always takes center stage, but it’s not quite an act. The way he speaks and behaves is comparable to that of many who live in his city (I learned this from my brother-in-law who is a born and raised native of New York).
Cardi B’s New York personality and rich hood mentality communicate the kind of common language that many can relate to. Her thick Dominican accent, coupled with her comical, relatable and vulnerable rants on news headlines, connects her with the average citizen who finds such headlines crippling or confusing. The way he communicates has the ability to give average citizens someone to identify with if they too feel uninformed and inexperienced about how to respond or what to do in a pandemic.
when there was widespread confusion about availability for COVID-19 testing, who could be tested and if whether or not the test was even accessible, Cardi B led to his Instagram to call his peers celebrities. Wearing a surgical mask, the rapper chastised celebrities who announced they were being tested for the virus without having any symptoms after the US president told people not to get tested if they didn’t have any symptoms. “You have the luxury of paying [thousands] dollars to be tested and cured. Many of these people don’t have it [type of] money,” he said. « Some people don’t even have the money to get healthcare, » which followed what he believed was the government’s responsibility to « charge coronavirus testing for every citizen in the game » (he believes the government should pay so all are tested).
Cardi’s rants aren’t just soliloquies from an ivory tower, though. The famed rapper doesn’t let his success make her forget the plight of what it’s like to be an average working-class citizen. He identifies with and speaks for those who find themselves victims of classism and, more recently, of the coronavirus. The hip hop mogul has partnered with the clothing brand Fashion Nova is giving away $1,000 every hour for people directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The giveaway would last until they donated $1 million total. And as if giving money wasn’t enough, he was also inclined to give his time, personally reading Stories and auditing individual Instagram pages to make sure the Pages and Stories were legit. Cardi B’s Will not only to talking about people’s economic disparities but also helping them financially shows that you understand the economic difficulties that so many people experience, because she was, and in a sense she is, so many people.
The New York City mayor’s office recognized Cardi B’s relatability and portrayal of the common individual and appointed her as a spokesperson for their 2020 Census advertising campaign. In the video, taking any behavior other than her Instagram videos, Cardi takes very seriously informs New Yorkers of the importance of taking the census. « If you want to stand up to the status quo and challenge the people in power who want to silence us, » she says as her long blue nails point back and forth at the camera, « start by getting yourself counted in the census. » The mayor’s office even recorded a version of Cardi giving the same PSA in Spanish, notifying individuals that the citizenship application is not listed in the census and is therefore safe to fill out. This too is an act of solidarity with the municipality citizen.
And before you think about the charismatic, philanthropic, Cardi B–the activism announcing the service ends here, is using this period of social isolation to inform the public about information related to the coronavirus by connecting political leaders with its following. In one of the most intriguing displays of American diversity, Cardi hosted an Instagram live chat with former Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He imagines the elderly white Sanders having a conversation with the young Dominican/Trinidadian Cardi on Instagram. It is, visually, a strange pairing. But their knack for staying true to who they are made it work. Cardi’s caption for the video reads: « Look, I don’t sound like CNN [correspondent] and I don’t use all this fancy vocabulary, but give you THE REAL while entertaining you at the same time to keep your attention on what’s important. Cardi asked Sanders raw, unfiltered questions about the coronavirus, and Sanders gladly answered in her usual wide-eyed, crazy-haired way.
cardi’s energetically layered responses to the coronavirus are certainly different from the standard we’re used to when it comes to celebrities giving and informing their fans and audiences. His colorful language, his body–revealing fashion and overly sexualized innuendos with her husband, Offset, I am more than most can handle. But this specific attention to his commitment and charity to the public is worth analyzing and perhaps even applauding to some extent. In the recent book Uncommon ground, Tom Lin writes: « Christians should not fail to affirm the good, the true and the beautiful wherever we see it, even if it emerges from sources with which we would disagree. » And in that vein of thought, we can define Cardi’s benevolence as acts of mercy.
Some will disagree. However, whatever qualms one may have with the Born in Washington Heights Cardi B, her openness and generosity remind us all to reflect on how we can use our time to practice selflessness. We can all admit that it’s easy to focus on ourselves right now: the space we crave apart from our family, the birthdays we can’t celebrate, or our financial losses. It’s easy to create this moment about ourselves. It’s tempting to fire her Cardi along with her famous peers since she has the personal resources to support her and her family during this period of self-quarantine. But after seeing how it distinguishes itself by stewarding its resources and advocacy platform for others, we might do well to reshape our perspectives and look for ways to instead serve our family and neighbors with the few (or abundant) resources we have. we have . Then we may be moved to pray and ask God for our literal and spiritual daily bread if we truly depend on him. All of her time, money and resources are hers. Will we be faithful borrowers of what he has given us or selfish hoarders?
Cardi B is just one of many living examples showing us how we can use our time, authority, and vulnerabilities to promote the well-being of others, no matter how big or small our platform. This is central to what is needed for human flourishing. That’s what Andy Crouch discusses in his book Strong and weak: « What we truly admire in human beings is not just authority or vulnerability alone: we seek both together. » And so, there’s something admirable about Cardi B and his efforts to serve his neighbors. He imperfectly uses his voice and the resources he has to uplift others. Could we be the same if we enter the fear of loss of finances, time or dignity and instead use our authority to defend humanity?