As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, people are trying different ways to connect with citizens to express how serious the virus really is. MSNBC news anchor Ari Melber was clearly trying to reach a certain demographic when he used the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 track “What’s Beef?” to describe the seriousness of the Coronavirus as the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc.
“COVID is dangerous,” Melber said in the clip. “It’s lethal. It’s a bit like the beef The Notorious B.I.G. used to rap about when he said, ‘Beef is when your moms ain’t safe up in the streets/Beef is when I see you/Guaranteed to be in I-C-U.’”
“Well, when COVID sees you, you can end up in an ICU,” he added. “Maybe not at the same rate as Biggie’s beef, but that’s the point about risk — you don’t want to test the streets and risk ending up in the ICU.”
The MSNBC correspondent is known to quote famous hip hop lyrics during his news segment. While on air, he previously quoted songs from rappers such as 21 Savage, Pusha T, 50 Cent and Mobb Deep. During a recent interview with HipHopDX, Melber spoke about his ability to mesh hip hop with his news reports.
“Usually it’s a song I know that pops into my head,” he told the news outlet. “So, some topic or concept in the news just fits with a lyric, or wisdom from a song. It’s possible more journalists will start citing bars, the way they use sports analogies, which is cool with me.”
“As Drake said, so many ‘came up on a style that I made up, but if all I hear is me, then who should I be afraid of?’” Melber added.
Check out the video of him using Biggie’s lyrics below.