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Cardi B's Coronavirus Rant Lands On Pop Charts

Cardi B performs in Miami on Jan. 31.
Frazer Harrison
Getty Images for Universal Pictures
Cardi B performs in Miami on Jan. 31.

Last Wednesday, Cardi B posted a 46-second video on Instagram, venting her frustrations and fears about the spread of the coronavirus. At the end of the clip, she yells out "Coronavirus! S*** is real! S*** is getting real!"

The conventional rules of pop stardom have never applied to Cardi B, but not even she could have foreseen the rapid-fire sequence of events that lead to her latest top 10 hit. Over the weekend, iMarkkeyz — a Brooklyn-based DJ who specializes in chopping up viral clips — got his hands on that soundbite and released a track simply called "Coronavirus," a loop of Cardi's ranting set to a trap beat.

"Coronavirus" instantly took off, first breaking into the pop charts internationally in Bulgaria and Brazil over the weekend, before rising into the iTunes store's top 10 in the United States on Thursday afternoon. And though the song's genesis and rise seem more than a bit absurd, it actually could have some serious benefits: Both Cardi B and iMarkkeyz have pledged that proceeds from streams and downloads will go towards helping those affected by the disease.

"YES! THATS WHAT WE GOING TO DO," Cardi wrote about donating the money. "Keep in mind you don't get your money right away ...but even months from now there would be families with financial issues for getting laid off due to the virus .We will Donate!"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jon Lewis is a freelance writer and producer based in New York.
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