Just as the wave of rappers using dance challenges as free promotion for their new music started to crest, the pioneering Nicki Minaj appears to have found a way to revitalize the genre with her own “Megatron” challenge. Rather than simply encouraging fans to pop their booties to her latest single at a gas station or in church, the Queen Barb actually offered something new: A chance to win money for supporters who danced or rapped to the “Megatron” instrumental.
Nicki posted the rules for her challenge on Saturday after everyone thought the fireworks were all over for the weekend. It turned out they were just beginning because with $10,000 on the line for Nicki’s favorite, $5,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third, fans lit up social media with their verses and choreography, which Nicki naturally reposted to prompt more participation.
The promotion turned out to be so popular that even established and emerging rappers like Tokyo Jetz of Grand Hustle and Yung Baby Tate, whose independently released mixtape Girls drew critical attention earlier this year, becoming a fan favorite with its empowering collaborative approach.
Meanwhile, some fans were content to drop the usual assortment of .gifs and memes, feeling too shy or unprepared to jump in.
Nicki hinted that she is saving her favorites over the course of the three weeks of the challenge, even as she acknowledged that there were too many to share. She also posted that the winner would have to sign to her label, but that’s probably just a joke on her part. The contest runs through July 27, so there’s still plenty of time to practice and get that perfect take. Check out more of Nicki’s favorites below.