Yes, rappers and R&B stars are still losing their minds while social distancing. As the at-home boredom grows, Cardi B is turning her streams into Bronx-flavored remakes of Pod Save America, interviewing Senator Bernie Sanders and cutting into mangos with her 4in acrylic nails. Drake’s fragile ego is shining through showy displays of his mansion.
And then there is Tekashi 6ix9ine, who has wasted no time returning to social media and buying expensive cars (where is he driving to right now?) after being released from prison early due to coronavirus fears.
Their ability to spend hours on Instagram Live is hard to keep up with, but thankfully we’re keeping track. After last month’s first installment featuring shaved eyebrows and isolation nudes, here are some of the latest antics from hip-hop stars under quarantine.
Gucci Mane wishes coronavirus on all his haters
Coronavirus pandemic has been touted as helping bring the globe together, reminding many of our shared bonds. Musicians have pivoted to positivity with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Elton John, et al appearing on feelgood TV specials. Gucci Mane has not received this memo.
The Georgia rapper, who is collaborating with Gucci the brand, tweeted that he “prays my haters die of coronavirus”. Twitter users were quick to offer the rapper free psychoanalysis. “Our enemies are just reflections of the parts of us we hate the most,” one wrote.
Gucci Mane has also taken to tweeting random platitudes during this time, as if he is workshopping lines for a self-help book. “Luck favors the prepared,” he wrote, and “Be proactive, not reactive!” Sure.
Drake shows off his maxi-mansion
Drake decided to “uplift” the masses in a predictably Drake way: dancing around his empty mansion. The rapper released a showy video for his fast-rising hit, Toosie Slide, where he strolled around his mansion replete with marble counters and photos of himself.
A few days later, he also showed off the gaudy, maximalist Toronto mansion for a feature in Architectural Digest. Featuring high-priced, hyped collaboration pieces such as a Takashi Murakami grand piano and Kaws artwork, the sprawling estate feels like Drake hired a 16-year-old Supreme obsessive to design the place.
We can imagine the rapper sitting alone in the mansion at night with a glass of scotch by his side, the sound of his sadboi lyrics bouncing off the hollow walls.
Bhad Bhabie is Tarzan with a spray tan
A celebrity cancellation can occur even amid a pandemic. Rapper Bhad Bhabie (pronounced “bad baby”) was called out for sporting a fake tan so dark it bordered on brownface, and twerking on IG Live.
Many believe the white Floridian’s adoption of a “blaccent” (a claim white Australian rapper Iggy Azalea also faced) and spray tans are blackfishing. In her long bizarre defense, Bhabie, who you might know as the “catch me outside” meme, compared herself to Tarzan.
“Y’all say that I try to be black,” she said. “Maybe the reason for that is because I grew up in the hood. Tarzan … he grew up around the bears in the jungle. He didn’t know no better! That’s all he knows! When someone grows up in a certain area or a certain place, they’re a part of their environment.”
Babyface and Teddy Riley’s IG Live falls flat
First popularized by mega hip-hop producers Timbaland and Swizz Beats, producer battles on IG Live have become the new way to kill time. What is a producer battle, you might ask? Quite literally each producer plays songs he’s worked on and exclaims how good it is. Confidence does not seem to be in scarcity in this career field.
Babyface, who has created tracks for Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey and others, faced off against Teddy Riley, who is credited with creating new jack swing, discovering the Neptunes and produced for R&B and pop heavyweights including Michael Jackson.
It was set to be a big event, drawing in over 400K viewers, but the entire show was riddled with technical difficulties – mainly on Teddy Riley’s side. Riley’s speakers kept malfunctioning and the stream was glitchy. At one point R&B singer Toni Braxton tweeted her frustrations: “Are we really starting over? I’m sorry I gotta make dinner, this is like watching old folks use Jitterbug phones.”
Thankfully, Babyface put us all out of our misery and decided to reschedule. Can someone teach Riley how to use an iPhone in the meantime?
Cardi B and Bernie Sanders hold a political summit
Cardi B has turned herself into a masterly political commentator during the coronavirus pandemic. Her IG Lives see her discuss everything from wealth inequality to socialism to welfare protections. Not exactly what you would expect from someone who once rapped, “I say my own name during sex.”
The rapper sat down with Senator Bernie Sanders last week to discuss his endorsement of Joe Biden. Of course, things started with Sanders asking Cardi how his nails look. Her response? “Mmm, I can tell you been in quarantine.”
Cardi did not bite her tongue during the conversation. She touched on privacy fears around contact tracing to higher stimulus checks to the outsized sway of moderate voters. She criticized Trump for not taking coronavirus seriously at first. “They put capitalism, money, goods, trading before our health,” she argued, while donning an anime-style blue wig that featured two giant hair bows on each side. In a separate IG Live stream, Cardi claimed she planned to run for president. Bring on Cardi 2024!.
Tekashi 6ix9ine makes a surprise appearance on Tory Lanez’s IG Live
The Brooklyn rapper, formerly incarcerated for gang-related activity and racketeering, is not letting house arrest get him down. Tekashi appeared in the comment sections of fellow hip-hop star Tory Lanez this week in playful spirits. After cooperating with federal agents during his trial for gang activity, he leaned into his new reputation as a “snitch” before someone else could use it against him. “I’ma snitch on u,” Tekashi teased Lanez. “You not even from America u from Canada [sic].” Later, reports emerged that the rapper is spending his newfound freedom buying a fleet of luxury cars. Tekashi doesn’t appear to plan on lying low, huh?