This weekend was a big one for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. The new dynamic duo in town released their sexy rap song “WAP” at midnight on Friday, which came complete with a steamy, JaQuel Knight-choreographed music video. As of Monday, the visual—which features splits, tigers and cameos from Normani, Mulatto and more—has racked up over 59 million views.
For the most part, social media was living for some “WAP,” but of course, the song and video came with backlash—not just for its overly sexual nature, but for one of the celebrity cameos. A petition circulated over the weekend to remove Kylie Jenner’s short appearance from the video, stating that the video was “perfect” until she showed up. (“I wanted to throw my phone,” the petition reads.)
In now-deleted tweets from Sunday night, Cardi B defended her decision to add Jenner into the video, writing that she is a kind woman who shows respect to her family. She also added that her husband Offset is friendly with the father of Jenner’s daughter, rapper Travis Scott.
“This is not about fuckin race,” Cardi wrote, as many people were upset about Jenner’s framing in the video. “Why did I put Kylie on my music video? She treated my sister and daughter so lovely at her kid bday party.”
There was also some negativity from a source no one asked to hear from. Carole Baskin, one of the totally-not-murderous stars of Netflix’s Tiger King, shared her disdain with Billboard over the video’s use of white tigers and other large cool cats and kittens. (Let it be known that no big cats were harmed during the making of, or in, the video.) While Baskin says she was more concerned about “glorifying” big cat ownership and her worries about the tiger’s possible green screen ingestion and illness, she did call the video “lurid.”
“[The video] makes every ignorant follower want to imitate by doing the same,” Baskin says. “While I think most are destroyed behind closed gates at that point, some end up being given away to people who want to have a tiger to show off. That never works out and the cats either die or end up dumped in sanctuaries or, worse yet, breeding mills. Either way, it’s always abusive to the cat.” Aside from totally not killing her ex-husband, Baskin was well-known on Tiger King for her work with Big Cat Rescue, whose mission “is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care, end abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent [the] extinction of big cats in the wild.”
Nevertheless, there were even bigger names celebrating the video and contributing to the chatter that followed its release.
Viola Davis was the subject of a “WAP”/ How To Get Away With Murder meme hybrid, which featured Davis strutting down the hallway in a leopard print bodysuit in place of Jenner, followed by a scene in which her HTGAWM character, Annaliese Keating, danced with a bottle of vodka as the song played on. Davis shared the meme to her Twitter page with several approving emojis.
Halle Berry also shared her appreciation for the track via social media, writing that she plans on listening to the song when she’s not in the presence of her children. Actress Kerry Washington also praised the video as “a GIFT” with fire emojis on her Twitter page.
The song itself debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Spotify chart with a reported 2.34 million streams in its first day. It samples the 1993 Baltimore club single “Whores in This House” by Frank Ski, who tweeted about the sample the day of the “WAP” release.
Check out some of the best celebrity reactions to the “WAP” video below.
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