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“Swish Swish” is Nicki Minaj’s best verse in years

May 19, 2017

Nicki's got BARS on Katy Perry's new single.

Is it about Taylor Swift? Is that “Star 69″/“I Get Deep” sample? Does a tiger really not lose sleep to a shellfish or a sheep? Is that a thing people say?

In the end, though, there’s really only one important question about “Swish Swish,” the third single from Katy Perry’s upcoming Witness that dropped last night, and that’s “is this Nicki Minaj’s best verse since ‘Monster’?” You be the judge, but we’re leaning towards yes:

“Don’t be tryna double back / I already despise you / All that fake love you showin’ / Couldn’t even disguise you”. Forget debating whether those words are aimed at Tay, Remy Ma, or anyone else: for those 50-odd seconds, it’s possible to believe we’re in another, better dimension rather than the dark Trumpian timeline we’re in, the one where Nicki followed up her ’09-’10 impossibly-buzzed comeup with seven years worth of inconsistent pop singles like “Moment 4 Life” and “Anaconda”.

Maybe that’s harsh, but even the stanniest of Minaj fans has to admit, she sounds more animated and on point here than at any point ever since we all freaked out at those bars of gold on MBDTF. If this is what “going low” sounds like, let’s hope the rest of the album gets absolutely uncalled-for.

Witness is out June 9, and will hopefully include more collabs in line with this one. Migos was a good start.

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