Fergie may have formerly been the fourth member of one of the best-selling rap groups of all time, but she was hardly known for her lyrical prowess. That may change with the release of her second solo album, Double Dutchess — especially on the funky, DJ EZ Rock-sampling “You Already Know,” which finds the 42 year-old mother trading surprisingly dextrous bars with current rap queen Nicki Minaj.
If the collaboration seems surprising, it shouldn’t; Nicki doesn’t consider too many female rappers to be competition, and in fact has expressed a desire to see women succeed in hip-hop on more than one occasion, most recently in the pages of Dazed, celebrating her ten years in the rap game.
Meanwhile, Fergie’s had plenty of time to soak up some skills herself, after being a part of the legendary Black Eyed Peas, who rose from underground acclaim to the top of the sales charts during her tenure. She also played around with simple rap schemes on hits like “Fergalicious,” “London Bridge,” and “MILF,” but she kicks a lot more advanced, Big Daddy Kane-esque interior rhymes on “You Already Know,” more than keeping pace with Nicki’s usual, rubber-band flow.
The black-and-white video, which you can watch above, depicts the pair modeling in a fancy art studio, and Fergie playing a giant game of chess with herself. It falls in line with the stylish promo for Double Dutchess due out September 22 on BMG, while the song itself embraces the current trend of modern pop reaching back to dance hits of the early-’90s for inspiration. All in all, it’s not a bad comeback track for hip-hop royalty.