Cardi B is the Instagram viral-video queen the internet apparently needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
While Kylie Jenner dominated Instagram in 2019, Cardi B took over in March: Five of the top 10 most-viewed videos on the platform last month came from the outspoken rapper and entertainer, as tracked by Pex, an L.A.-based video and music analytics and rights-management firm.
Each of Cardi’s videos in the top 10 revolved around COVID-19. In the No. 1 clip, a March 10 post captioned “Ya keep playing I’m deadass F—– SCARED. I’m stocking up on food,” she says in part, “Let me tell y’all something, I ain’t even gonna front: A bitch is scared. I’m a little scared…. S— got me panicking.” At the end, she exclaims, “Coronavirus! Coronavirus! I’m telling you, s— is real! S— is getting real!”
That video, in turn, yielded a hit for DJ and producer iMarkkeyz, who remixed Cardi B’s rant to a throbbing beat (and threw in a dancing Elmo for good measure).
In her other top videos for the month, she knocks over a tower of giant Jenga blocks; cackles in response to seeing Donald Trump elbow-bump a health-care company CEO in a televised press conference; criticizes the U.S. government’s response to COVID-19, particularly in lack of testing for poor and middle-class people; and is massively amused that one of her videos made it into a Chinese TV news report.
She’s also used her social-media footprint to urge people to be counted in the 2020 Census: In a March 26 Instagram post, in partnership with New York’s NYC Census 2020 initiative, she told followers to not be distracted by the virus and directed them to fill out the census at 2020census.gov or by calling (844) 330-2020.
Cardi B, with nearly 62 million followers, currently is the No. 35 most-followed account on Instagram (excluding Instagram itself). The Bronx native (real name Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) deactivated her Instagram in February 2019 — for all of two days — upset by abuse directed her way after her album “Invasion of Privacy” won the best rap album at last year’s Grammy Awards.