Perry, 32, tweeted about “Swish Swish” one hour before the song dropped while Minaj, 34, teased it in a hashtag on Twitter in advance of her appearance at the Billboard Music Awards.
The lyrics of “Swish Swish” sound like a shot at rumored rival Taylor Swift — whose 2014 song “Bad Blood” is long-assumed to be about Perry — and Twitter was quick to take notice.
“Don’t you come for me/No, not today/you’re calculated/I’ve got your number/Because you’re a joke/and I’m a courtside killer queen,” go Perry’s lyrics.
Minaj’s rap verse includes more lyrics that sound directed at Swift, with whom she previously had a Twitter disagreement: “Don’t be tryna double back/I already despise you/All that fake love you showin’/couldn’t even disguise you.” Fans also pointed out Minaj might be referencing longtime rival Remy Ma in another line: “Silly rap beefs just give me more checks.”
After the song dropped, Swift’s fans also came out in full force to clap back at Perry and Minaj. The “Shake It Off” singer’s close friend Ruby Rose slammed Perry on Twitter, writing “I just think with everything going on in the world to go from rebranding as a political activist only to ditch it and go low.. is.. a bummer.”
Perry recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her album and whether it had a follow-up to Swift’s “Bad Blood,” which was rumored to be about Perry. The “Roar” singer said her album was “very empowered” and that “there is no one thing that’s calling out any one person.”
“One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone,” Perry said. “And that’s not to any one person and don’t quote me that it is, because it’s not. It’s not about that. Honestly, when women come together and they decide to unite, this world is going to be a better place. Period end of story.”
She continued: “But, let me say this: Everything has a reaction or a consequence so don’t forget about that, okay, honey. [Laughs] We got to keep it real, honey. This record is not about anyone else! This record is about me being seen and heard so that I can see and hear everyone else! It’s not even about me! It’s about everything that I see out there that I digest. I think there’s a healing in it for me and vulnerability. If people want to connect and be healed and feel vulnerable and feel empowered and strong, God bless and here it is.”