Nicki Minaj has finally returned to the No. 1 status she craves thanks to her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion on “Hot Girl Summer” — even if it’s not quite the way she expected. Instead of hitting No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart — a feat she has yet to accomplish — she and Meg have taken over Rolling Stone‘s new, competing chart, the Rolling Stone 100. It’s the first time a female artist collaboration has seen the top of the chart in its month-long history.
It's the first female collaboration to ever reach #1 on the weekly chart.
— Rolling Stone Charts (@RollingData) August 19, 2019
The duo first began teasing the collaboration toward the end of July with an impromptu live streaming session that sparked speculation among fans that Meg and Nicki were working together on new music. Megan then previewed the song via social media just a day later. After a week’s delay, the song finally hit the ‘net and fans of both rappers happily streamed it right to the top of Rolling Stone‘s chart, which tracks streams differently than Billboard‘s, giving more weight to the new technology. “Hot Girl Summer” landed at No. 11 on the Hot 100, just behind Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You.”
Still, it’s an accomplishment that has driven Nicki Minaj for the better part of the last year. Nicki went on a tirade against Spotify when her 2018 album Queen fell short of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart behind Travis Scott’s Astroworld and fans have long speculated that her beef with Cardi B is at least partly based on Cardi’s chart success. Cardi, of course, has had three of her singles hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, while Nicki herself only ever reached as high as No. 2 in 2014 with “Anaconda.” Perhaps the success of “Hot Girl Summer” will spark a new trend for the veteran rapper of collaborating with her fellow women in rap and retiring “these bitches is my sons” from her arsenal of rhymes, while also lending a bit more legitimacy to the Rolling Stone 100 among fans who appreciate how it appears to value the zeitgeist reflected by powerful streaming numbers.