Early on in the track, Beyoncé makes a telling declaration: “We escalate, up in this bitch like elevators/ Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator,” she spits out, referring to the infamous, rumor-generating fight between her sister Solange and Jay Z after the Met Gala in May.
Minaj makes her entrance a little more than two minutes into the track, boasting “Winning is my motherfucking protocol/ Because I score before I ever throw the ball.” She manages to rhyme protocol with propofol, tying it into the line “Like MJ’s doctor, they’re killing me.” The track also works in a horn sample from Outkast’s “Spottieottiedopaliscious.”
The “Flawless” remix marks the first collaboration between Beyoncé and Minaj, who has long professed her admiration for the singer. In a 2010 interview with Us Weekly, she named Beyoncé as her top choice for a joint endeavor. “I’ve worked with just about all my dream collabs, like I’ve worked with Jay-Z and I’ve worked with Kanye and I worked with Rihanna and I’ve worked with Eminem,” she said. “Those were at the top of my list. Now that I’ve done that, probably the only one on my list that I haven’t worked with that I’m really, really excited about is Beyonce.”
The new take on “Flawless” comes just a couple of weeks after Beyoncé revealed her involvement with the Fifty Shades of Grey film by posting a teaser featuring Yonce revisiting her 2003 hit “Crazy In Love” in a dramatically languid version of the song.