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.