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Review: 15 Thoughts On Beyoncé And Nicki Minaj's 'Flawless' Remix

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The long-awaited Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj collabo has finally happened. And the two music queens deliver all the quotables, bravado and gossip fodder you need to get by. But does "Flawless (Remix)" live up to its name?

1. First things first, how have Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj not worked together before this? The same Beyoncé who’s recorded with Rah Digga, Devin The Dude and

; and the same Nicki Minaj who
in her discography. It's about damn time.2. Bue Ivy’s mom is starting to find her comfort zone on these bars. Wouldn’t mind hearing more ’Yonce rapping in sparse portions. 3. That one line that everyone is talking about, the one about the whole elevator thing. You know Jay whispered that into Bey’s ear, for her to say. It has Shawn Carter written all over it. #relationshipgoals4. Soo, within the first 30 seconds, Beyoncé says the word acronym THOT. And as you read this, a Time thinkpiece is undoubtedly being written whitesplaining the origin, definition and sociological context of the term. That’s all. Moving right along...5. Five years after Hov’s “D.O.A.,” Auto-Tune lives!6. Hearing Nicki and Beyoncé boast about how flawless they indeed are is pretty awesome, because it's true. But it’s a bit predictable, no? Bey should’ve got some original vocals from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, talking about how these basic, street lit authors ain't on her level. Something like that.7. The conceit level here is on a trilli. “You can say what you want, I’m the shit,” coos Mrs. Carter. But wait. Didn’t y’all teleport Keri Hilson right out the paint when she dropped the humble-by-comparison single “Pretty Girl Rock”? (Refresher lyric: “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful”). This is some tasty Chamomile tea, though.kermit-the-frog-but-that-s-none-of-my-bu8. Whoever decided to revive Sly Stone's "Rock Dirge" sample—memorably lifted for OutKast’s —is a smart, soulful cat. Is that you Hit-Boy?!9. As for the closing rap verse, I’d rather hear Nicki rhyme on the “Bow Down” portion of “Flawless.” It’s bubbly and raucous, just like her. These strings are better fit for the introspective Nicki Minaj.10. The most awkward single second in recent recording history comes after Nicki says “Like MJ’s doctor, they killin’ me.” So uncomfortable.11. Nicki Minaj’s slowed-down flow holds up the momentum on this monster collaboration, mostly because she’s not saying much that we haven’t already heard. Animation is Nicki’s strongest asset (beside, of course, ). And here, with the spotlight on her words, Barb’s punchlines have less punch than usual, perhaps made more glaring by , which dropped just hours before Bey and Nicki’s first-ever collaboration.12. But still, Nicki finds a pocket once she speeds up her flow. And that closing line—“This that, Yeah-nigga-eat-the-cookie face”—is the perfect nod to Jay’s “Eat the cake, Anna Mae” reference on “Drunk In Love.” Well played, Onika.13. Anyone else notice Nicki’s Notorious B.I.G. grunts on here? Betcha Lil’ Kim did.14. At times “Flawless (Remix)” comes off a bit too ambitious. All the vocal manipulation and beat tweaks and shifting flows and paces. Doing a bit too much. 15. All that said, it’s a dope statement/event record. It’s an epic moment—sort of like Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s “Control”—but is it an epic song? Not so sure. () —John Kennedy

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