Rap superstar Cardi B blasts US government shutdown in viral rant

Cardi B performing at the Mala Luna Music Festival in San Antonio, Texas.
Cardi B performing at the Mala Luna Music Festival in San Antonio, Texas.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Rap's woman of the moment Cardi B unleashed a profanity-laced rant blasting Donald Trump and the US government shutdown, leaving some Democratic lawmakers wondering whether to promote the clip touching on their talking points.

The Bronx-born artist with some 40 million Instagram followers posted the video late on Wednesday (Jan 16), denouncing Trump's callback of furloughed federal employees to complete vital government tasks without pay as the shutdown drags into its fourth week.

"Hey y'all," begins the Grammy-nominated superstar known for hits like Bodak Yellow and I Like It. "Trump is now ordering - as in summonsing - federal government workers to go back to work without getting paid," she says in the clip, which has racked up more than 10 million views.

"Now, I don't want to hear y'all mother f*****s talkin' bout, 'oh but Obama shut down the government for 17 days'," she says, referencing a 2013 funding gap.

"Yeah b***h! For health care! So your grandma could check her blood pressure."

Democratic senators Brian Schatz from Hawaii and Chris Murphy of Connecticut puzzled over whether to promote the viral video - but ultimately decided against it.

"Guys, I'm still holding my breath," tweeted top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

"Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?"

"We decided not to do it," Schatz tweeted.

"Wouldn't be senatorial."

Acknowledging that many of her fans might not be following the shutdown saga, which is persisting due to a standoff between the US president and Democrats in Congress, Cardi B said "we really need to take this serious."

"Our country is in a hellhole right now," the 26-year-old said. "All for a f*****g wall."

 

Trump insists he won't agree to open the government until Congress signs off on his demand for US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) to build a wall along the border with Mexico, which he argues is needed to prevent illegal immigration.

"This is crazy," said Cardi B, who was born to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother.

"I feel like we need to take some action."