A look back at the best collaborative projects to come from the hip-hop mainstays.
The remix to Nicki Minaj’s “Good Form,” a cut from her recent Queen LP has arrived today, featuring the ever reliable Lil Wayne. A mentor of sorts, Wayne is credited with giving Minaj her start in the industry and has made a habit of appearing on tracks whenever he feels so inclined. In honor of Nicki and Wayne’s latest collaboration, we’ve compiled a list of the best tracks the duo have delivered over the years.
10. NO FRAUDS
Nicki rallied the usual Young Money suspects to offer a formal response to Remy Ma’s damning portrait on the beef-starting 2017 track “Shether.” While social media and our own poll found Ma’s diss to be superior, we can’t fault Nicki for delivering something that could easily find itself as the soundtrack to a night out. Though it ultimately failed as a clap back, Nicki’s rallying cry of fellow heavyweights Drake and Lil Wayne was a powerful statement in itself. Throw in thumping production by way of Murda Beatz, and Nicki certainly kept things interesting.
9. DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
This moody song from Wayne’s Tha Carter V might prove a contentious addition to this list, but it points to the immense range Nicki and Wayne have when paired together. While they tend to specialize in club-ready cuts, a track like “Dark Side” shows a vulnerability they don’t often exhibit as solo artists, much less together. In a genre dominated by chest-thumping and building credibility, the two go full-Drake with their emotional and haunting pleas over the atmospheric beat produced by Bloque and Jonah Christian.
8. RICH SEX
A promotional single for Queen, this track reads like a quintessential Minaj/Wayne meet-up. Which is to say, raunchy. They’re more or less trodding down a familiar path as the title might imply, but the song still slaps. If nothing else it affirms the enduring popularity of the pair's enduring brand, shown by how it quickly reached number one in twenty different countries upon release.
Young Money’s Rise of an Empire wasn’t as good as its predecessor, but it did deliver this highly underrated single. Tyga carries the hook while Nicki pedals her iconic “all the rappers is my sons” narrative. Wayne comes in towards the end and drops some wisdom about having a “super soaker chopper” and “getting money till I’m senile,” a declaration that by all accounts seems to have held true throughout his lengthy career.
6. TRUFFLE BUTTER
"Truffle Butter's" opening notes can still elicit excitement from a crowd over three years after its release. The original drop was an iTunes exclusive to coincide with Nicki’s The Pinkprint, and quickly rose to be one of the album’s most popular entries, peaking at number fourteen on the Hot 100. The repetitive Nineteen85 beat is the perfect canvas for Drake, Nicki and Wayne to spit lyrics that are catchy to a fault; if you don’t know what follows “thinking out loud” you might want to reconsider where you were at the beginning of 2015.
Nicki recruited Drake and Wayne, as well as R&B stalwart Chris Brown, for this provocative Pinkprint track. The basic premise is simple. Wayne and Drake exchange lines about their desires to sleep with Minaj, with Drizzy's “she was sitting down on that big butt” thread serving as one of the biggest punchlines. The song came after fans had received word that Nicki’s album would be delayed again, but it was more than enough to hold them over
4. BED ROCK
Who can forget one of the best ensemble tracks a label’s roster has ever delivered? “Bed Rock” was everything you could’ve hoped for and more. Lloyd’s infectious chorus rides over a then-new smattering of artists bolstered by the clout of their mentor, Lil Wayne. Hearing a not-yet-established Drake musing about wasabi and Nicki on a “pink pedal bike” can account for much of the song’s charm, if not its reason for existing. While Wayne could’ve crowded the room with his overwhelming sway at the time, he gives the new breed more than enough room to breathe.
3. YOUNG MONEY BALLERS
This 2008 track finds Nicki and Wayne on their mixtape tip, bouncing off each other with a surprising amount of familiarity. They spend time trading lines about wealth, sex and the inferior nature of their competitors all while shouting out the emerging Young Money Label. Its status as a mixtape cut means the audio isn’t as clear as you may like it to be, but the track still hints at a notable, and enduring chemistry.
2. HIGH SCHOOL
In many ways, this one was what “Rich Sex” wanted to be. “High School” features Nicki alternating between singing and dropping bars, spinning a narrative web about having a romantic entanglement with a drug dealer. Wayne’s response? A series of lines alluding to Nicki’s bisexuality followed by an intimate portrait of exactly what he’s willing to do with her in the bedroom. As he puts it, “I’mma need goggles,” a really mind-boggling assertion if you think about it.
1. ROMAN'S REVENGE
“I am not Jasmine I am Aladdin,” Nicki spits over Swizz Beat’s kinetic, pulsing beat. Her "Roman" persona shares the booth with peak Lil Wayne, out for blood and rattling out punchlines almost faster than you can understand them. It’s aggressive, jarring and shows two A-listers at the top of their game. The end reads like a warning, with Nicki rapping in the posh accent she brought out for Kanye’s “Dark Fantasy.” It’s astounding what the duo managed to pack into three minutes and fifty seconds, and easily stands as their best.