Ironically, it was during that second hiatus that B. Simone used social media to pour her heart out and create her first viral video. She explains that the moment derived from dialogue she was having with her love interest at the time. She needed something. He was unwilling to comply, and she took her frustrations out on her camera phone from the seat of a car.
She is quick to point out, though, that Instagram was just another tool she used (she now boasts 3.8 million followers), intentionally or not, to tell her story.
“I had always been doing stuff like that,” she insists with an unmistakable air of confidence. “I didn’t come from Instagram. Instagram is new. My hustle isn’t. I was on Myspace doing stuff, on Pinterest doing stuff, doing stuff in real life, you know what I’m saying? So, Instagram was definitely a platform that took me to that next level, but I had been doing this long before Instagram.”
Unsurprisingly, the current star and love interest of “You’re My Boooyfriend” was called back for season 11 of the Zeus Network series and has been there ever since. And even though she was released for reasons she can’t explain, her trajectory within the framework Cannon built is something she is forever grateful for.
“Nick is a phenomenal boss,” she shares. “He’s so professional. He’s so supportive, and he’s one of the people I grew up watching him. I grew up watching ‘Wild ‘N Out,’ Love Don’t Cost a Thing, just all that stuff where you see Nick Cannon, and it’s like, ‘I can’t believe I work with him now.’ He’s one of the older generation people [who’s] embracing the young generation and not hating on us.”
As fate would have it, Simone recently embraced the opportunity to build with a pair of acting icons who helped solidify that point further when fellow comedian and internet sensation King Bach pulled out of hosting Will Smith’s 51st birthday party in Budapest, Hungary. Ironically, Simone had posted two weeks prior that she wanted to meet Jada Pinkett Smith, and shortly after working the gig she’d booked in Dubai, Bach called.
After admittedly overcoming a tap on the shoulder from Will — who called her by name the first time they met — and a near-tearful moment at the mere sight of Jada, the young comedienne pulled herself together. Even as the power couple told her they were each familiar with her work, she executed a flawless interview, earning deserved respect.
“Will Smith is the prime example of not hating on the next generation,” she reasons, “getting with it or getting lost and still being [himself], but moving with evolution. Look at him and Jada and what they’re doing. They’re not millennials, but they’re [present]. They didn’t hate on us. They linked up with us and embraced us.”
And if Will Smith never labeled her an “Instagram comedian,” for the sake of diminishing her craft, neither should anyone else.
“I think it’s foolish,” she says matter-of-factly. “I think Instagram is evolution. Either hop on the train or get left behind. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want a cellphone. I’m going to write you a letter.’ OK. Be stuck in the past if you want to. But we all gon have cellphones.”
Story by N. Ali Early
Images by Louis Cuthbert