After a week-long delay, Megan Thee Stallion’s highly anticipated “Hot Girl Summer” dropped at midnight Friday morning. The single, which features Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj and samples City Girls’ hit “Act Up”, delivers on Megan Thee Stallion’s promise to end her hot girl summer with a bang. The eponymous track of Megan’s now-viral catchphrase, the Juicy J–produced single has Megan and Nicki going bar-for-bar about making men disposable. Their effortless chemistry outshines the single’s subpar beat and Ty Dolla $ign’s underwhelming verse. But while it’s only fitting that the men sit on the sidelines here, the track’s main highlight isn’t about the lyrics at all. The single is instead more notable for breaking new ground that most other young women rappers have yet to reach: having a feature with Nicki Minaj. The collaboration was born from a July Instagram live with Nicki Minaj, where the pair talked about their respective careers and showed love for each other, something that Nicki Minaj rarely does with other female rappers. “Hot Girl Summer” is yet another testament to the Houston rapper being inclusive of other women in hip-hop, further debunking the long-held myth that female emcees don’t get along. More than anything, it feels almost like an updated version of 1998’s women-led rap anthem “Ladies Night”, which featured the iconic dream team of Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, TLC’s Left Eye, and Da Brat, and celebrated women. The rapper’s celebration of friendship with her industry peers while also being among rap’s hottest characters is a visible endorsement of rap’s ability to hold space for more than one woman. Rappers like Maliibu Miitch, Rico Nasty, and Kash Doll, among others, have posted on social media about their friendships with Megan. She’s also enlisted the likes of SZA, Kamaiyah, and Kehlani in her “Drive the Boat” campaign, which sees Megan pouring drinks directly into her new friends’ mouths. In an Instagram video posted on Wednesday, Megan twerks to the beat of Lizzo playing the flute. Her Hot Girl Summer playlist also features music from a plethora of female rappers including Missy Elliott, Cardi B, and Remy Ma. With “Hot Girl Summer,” Megan makes it clear that she’s here for the community, offering an optimistic, collaborative future for women in rap.
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