We are living in what I like to call “The Second Golden Age of Female Rappers.” This summer we’ve seen a plethora of female rappers score big hits and even bigger followings. Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Saweetie, City Girls, Lizzo, Tierra Whack, Doja Cat, Rico Nasty, and more have made incredible career strides this summer and really gave the guys a run for their money.
The most recent hit female rap collaboration we’ve had is “Twerk” by City Girls and Cardi B. While the song was fun for what it was, it was really just the groundwork for the anthemic “Act Up.” We’ve also had the hilarious “Tia Tamera” by Doja Cat and Rico Nasty and “MotorSport” by Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B. We can’t forget the underrated “BAPS” by Trina and Nicki.
“Hot Girl Summer,” Megan Thee Stallion’s latest single with Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign, is a smooth victory lap to celebrate her entrance into the mainstream. Megan has seen an astronomical rise this year. Earlier in 2019, “Big Ole Freak” became Megan’s first Hot 100 hit and she soon followed it up with a Top 10-peaking mixtape in Fever (review here) and her highest-peaking song yet, “Cash S**t (feat. DaBaby).” If the rest of the country can catch on to how much fun this track is, Megan may be looking at her first Top 10 hit, maybe even #1.
Built around a sample of City Girls’ “Act Up,” Nicki and Meg trade verses about how they are each enacting their own Hot Girl Summers. Both verses are stacked with bars that celebrate sexual autonomy and control, and there’s also a sweet shout-out from Nic to Meg about Megan getting her college degree. Megan’s first verse is absolutely lethal (“F**k a superstar n***a, now I got him falling”) and her flow is immaculate, as expected. Nicki, on the other hand, serves up a verse filled with metaphors and double entendres, my favorite of which is “You ain’t put me in no brands, but I see you proud of me.”
Recently, Nicki has been playing with her enunciation to fit extra punchlines in her verses, and it’s a move that always pays off. Finally, Ty Dolla $ign gives a smooth hook (seriously, he never misses) that deceptively flips the opening line of “Act Up,” so initially it seems that he’s singing about a Hot Boy Summer. In actuality, he’s praising all the Hot Girls and confessing that whether they know it or not, they’re controlling his Hot Boy Summer. I still think a female artist (Kehlani, Ariana, Teyana Taylor) would have worked better in terms of optics, but Ty more than carries his weight.
The real triumph of “Hot Girl Summer” is that you can’t help but to enjoy listening to Megan and Nicki rap. Their flows slice through the beat and they never sound bored or monotone. “Hot Girl Summer” is a great track because it’s authentic, there’s a genuine connection between Nicki and Megan. Not all female rappers have to collaborate or like each other, but when they do and they have fun while doing so, it’s a killer combination of talent and skill.