For “Swish Swish,” the current single off her recent album Witness, Katy Perry enlisted Nicki Minaj for what is shaping up to be one of this year’s most memorable diss tracks. Today, Perry dropped a lyric video, featuring singer / actress Gretchen — otherwise known as Brazil’s “Butt Queen” of the 1970s.
It’s easy to connect the dots and say that Perry is aiming the diss at Taylor Swift. The two pop stars traded veiled barbs back and forth in 2014 after fighting over backup dancers in the lead-up to a world tour, and it is now commonly understood that Swift’s “Bad Blood” was directed at Perry.
Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj dismisses “silly rap beefs” which is a smart way of taking the high road in response to Remy Ma’s “shETHER” which took aim at Minaj, but has since been scrubbed from streaming services because it used the backing track from the immortal Nas song “Ether” without permission (which in itself was a diss aimed at Jay Z at the height of their rivalry in 2001).
Musically, “Swish Swish” is an ambitious blend of electronic, hip hop, and conventional pop styles. The song starts with a sample of Fatboy Slim’s “Star 69” from his 2000 album Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars. This is followed by Katy Perry’s defiant vocals over piano, as she sings, “A tiger don’t lose no sleep don’t need opinions from a shellfish or a sheep, don’t you come for me…” before the beat drops and then kicks up into a deep groove.
In many ways, “Swish Swish” is like Perry’s 2013 hit song “Dark Horse” with Juicy J. She has moved towards using darker grooves that aren’t necessarily as pop-friendly as her earlier collaborations with hip hop artists like “California Gurls” with Snoop Dogg or “E.T.” with Kanye West.
For more, check out Katy Perry’s Zumic artist page.