In a massive show of girl power, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B mercilessly outshined the rap trio Migos on their new single, "MotorSport."
The two female rappers — Minaj widely recognized as the "queen of rap," and Cardi B gaining notoriety from her hit single "Bodak Yellow" — each had their own fiery verse on the song, ripe with innuendo and shade.
After almost two minutes of typical Migos back-and-forth, radio-ready verses, Cardi B came in strong. She was quick to make a joke about her fiancé and Migos member, Offset: "I get upset off/ I turn Offset on/ I told him the other day/ man, we should sell that porn."
That meme-worthy line is undoubtedly striking, but the rest of the verse is smooth and rivals the iconic flow of "Bodak Yellow." Cardi B works the light and bouncy beat of the song, gradually letting her verse build to a hype finale where she calls herself "the trap Selena" and references the Daddy Yankee classic "Gasolina."
There is a brief chorus after Cardi B's verse, before Minaj comes in hard with her minute-long verse. She kills it, unsurprisingly, with her typical witty, powerful lines:
"Rap's Jackie Chan/ we ain't pullin' them fake stunts"
"I ain't tryna be violent/ But if Nicki on it, it slaps hoe"
"If Quavo the QB, I'm Nick Lombardi"
She even goes on to reference a recent scandal in the hip-hop world — the feud between Young Dolph and Yo Gotti. Dolph was shot in Los Angeles in September, and many suspected Gotti was the culprit because of the rappers' long-standing beef. Minaj's verse aligned with popular opinion: "'Hey yo Nick, didn't you just do a hit with Gotti?'/ That too, but my n—-s send hits like Gotti."
Although Minaj's lines follow the same themes as her work normally does — she's rich, successful, the best in the game, etc. — it's still impressive and enjoyable. Her cleverness and ability to reference hot topics on a whim make her verse stand out.
In a surprising twist, oft-neglected Migos member Takeoff had his own verse after Minaj. Unfortunately, the sheer strength of the featured women on the track blows him out of the water — his lines are just a skippable afterthought.
Minaj and Cardi B take this song from just another Migos song to a true powerhouse track. The two have had connections in the past, mostly due to their unique standing as two prevalent, visible, talented female rappers.
Minaj showed public support for Cardi B on Twitter when "Bodak Yellow" went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart — a big feat for up-and-coming artists.
Inevitably, theories that there's beef between Cardi B and Minaj are rampant, so much so that Minaj took to Twitter again on Oct. 31 to address rumors surrounding "MotorSport," specifically the rumor that Minaj was unaware Cardi B would be featured on the song.
The tweets have since been deleted, but screenshots and reports from that same day indicate Minaj posted a thread of tweets, with highlights like "I was on the song w/Quavo. No one else was on it. He called & asked if I think we should put Bardi on it, I said "ok let's do it". The end." and "The conspiracy theories r just so tired. Relax. Breathe."
Ultimately, Minaj chalked the rumors up to the damaging sexism prevalent in the hip-hop industry.
"These are men in our culture who refuse to let it go. They don't do this to male M.C.'s. …"
The strength of "MotorSport" and widespread desire to uplift female rappers will probably, and hopefully, bring Cardi B and Minaj together for a collaboration again soon.