“You know what, I didn’t even know that it was a beef, to be honest,” Derulo tells PEOPLE of the rappers’ ongoing feud, which many speculate was fueled by Minaj’s verse on the latest Derulo hit.
After the track dropped on Feb. 24, hip-hop fans surmised that one of Minaj’s rhymes — “I gave these bitches two years, now your time’s up / Bless her heart, she throwing shots, but every line sucks” — was a jab at Remy Ma, 36. (Just days later, Ma released “shETHER,” a savage, eight-minute rap aimed at Minaj, 34; earlier this month, Minaj responded with three new singles and a challenge to Ma on Instagram.)
“Nobody at the label knew that she was dissing anybody on the song or any of that. I still don’t know that it’s a diss towards anybody,” Derulo, 27, says. “I just know that she’s super talented, and what she’s done recently is legendary, iconic. So you know, her verse is lit as f—, so that’s all I’ve got.”
Furthermore, the singer says he, Minaj and fellow collaborator Ty Dolla $ign completed the track nearly half a year ago ago — long before Minaj and Ma’s beef reached a boiling point.
“It actually happened a long time ago, man. I think the whole thing came together and the song was done, that was probably five months ago,” adds Derulo, who released and promoted his Storks soundtrack cut “Kiss the Sky” ahead of “Swalla.”
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On Friday, Derulo — who just unveiled his new LVL XIII fashion collection in New York on Monday — dropped the sexy, double entendre-filled music video for his new single.
“The song is very fun, and it talks about love in different flavors — just playing off those words, dealing with Derulo candy and whipped cream and Derulo soda, lollipops, all that stuff, just taking that and making the video look like a candy bar, almost,” he says of the colorful clip. “It was a lot of fun because everyone has different personalities. Ty’s super chill, relaxed. Nicki’s more outspoken, outgoing. It was just a dope vibe throughout the whole process.”
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As for how the star-studded collab came together?
“I wanted to have a sound that was representative of kompa, the native music in Haiti, which is where my family’s from. That’s kind of where the idea of the track came from,” Derulo says. “Then I called on Nicki and Ty, who I’m fans of. Nicki’s of Caribbean descent as well, so that made sense. I’ve been meaning to work with her for a long time. She actually did a remix to ‘In My Head,’ which was my second single, but people didn’t really get to sink their teeth in. She was just emerging at that point. That was only my second single. Now it’s just the real thing, the real deal. I’m a fan of hers, obviously, and Ty — he’s just so great with melody — and it just worked out.”