Giving Nicki Minaj a verse on your song is a big risk: She’ll be great, but she might upstage you, and before you know it, you could have a “Monster” situation on your hands and have to spend the rest of your career on empty provocations. But if you’re a member of a fictional girl group formed for the express and limited purpose of recording a single song for a Saturday Night Live sketch, inviting Minaj is all upside. So that’s just what Tina Fey, Kate McKinnon, and Aidy Bryant did.
The musical model here is Wilson Phillips 1990 hit “Hold On,” but the lyrics are straight from Mean Girls. Fey, McKinnon, and Bryant harmonize about shit-talking anyone who crosses their friends, promising to each other to “lift you up by tearing her down,” then the 1990s guitars drop out for a drum track as Minaj lobbies for a more direct response. “Let’s punch her in the face and take her jewels,” Minaj proposes—every group of friends has its Moloch!—as she tears through her verse. How does it compare to the Wilson Phillips pastiche that makes up the bulk of the song? Let’s just say that if Fey, McKinnon, or Bryant start tweeting about how much they respect Donald Trump, we’ll look back at this sketch as the moment things went wrong.
Update, May 20: As a reader pointed out on Twitter, the song is more closely related to HAIM’s “Little of Your Love,” which explains the aviator sunglasses.