The federal government has been partially shuttered for close to four weeks now, and that's quite long enough, according to one hip-hop star. Cardi B's rant about the government shutdown caught the internet by storm on Wednesday. And though it might have seemed like a strange clash of pop culture and politics, this definitely wasn't the first time she's spoken up about such issues.
"This sh*t is really f*cking serious. ... This sh*t is crazy," Cardi said in her most recent statement, baffled that thousands of federal workers are being recalled from furlough and directed to work without pay. "Like, our country is a hellhole right now, all for a f*cking wall."
Though she admitted she didn't really have answers, Cardi came prepared with facts. "Now, I don’t want to hear y’all motherf*ckers talking about 'Oh, but Obama shut down the government for 17 days,'" she said, quickly adding the rebuttal, "Yeah, b*tch, for health care."
That video was actually the second time this week Cardi chimed in on the shutdown stalemate — earlier on Wednesday, she attacked Trump in an Instagram Live video. "You promised these f*cking racist rednecks that you was gonna build the wall, but you know that was impossible," Cardi announced for her nearly 40 million followers, noting that even if there were a wall, it wouldn't effectively solve unlawful entry. She continued, "But they voted for you and you promised them this sh*t so now you have to do it."
In the rise to stardom that began with her viral Instagram videos and later, her 2015 debut on Love & Hip Hop: New York, Cardi has weighed in on a number of political issues, ranging from gun control and political resistance to football players kneeling during the national anthem.
Following the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, she put out an instantly meme-able video in which she repeatedly demanded to know "what is y'all doing with my f*cking money?" And who could forget her 2016 endorsement of Bernie Sanders, in which she directed followers to "Vote for Daddy Bernie, b*tch."
"I love political science," she said during an interview last spring with GQ. "I love government. I'm obsessed with presidents. I'm obsessed to know how the system works." It's worth noting that in that interview she went on to laud Franklin Delano Roosevelt for implementing Social Security and steering the country out of the Great Depression with the New Deal, all while managing polio.
Two years ago, while she was likely in the throes of recording Invasion of Privacy, Cardi also took a moment to weigh in on the human rights crisis in Libya, following the downfall of Muammar Qaddafi. At the time, Al Jazeera reported, migrants and refugees were frequently being sold into slavery for as little as $400. The United Nations isn't "making it their problem or priority to help what's going on in Libya," she said in an Instagram video, adding that both the UN and the United States were complicit in the crisis. "What's going on over there is shameful and disgusting," she said.
Whether you were paying attention or not, Cardi's politics are undeniably progressive, and according to her, they come from a genuine interest. "Me, I’m always watching the news," she told GQ. "I’m always looking at it on my phone. I hate when you talk about something that’s going on in the community, people think, because you’re famous, you doing it for clout. But you concerned about it because you are a citizen of America; you are a citizen of the world."