It’s a double-whammy dose of female power on “Tusa,” the new Karol G single featuring Nicki Minaj.
“I still can’t believe it,” a giddy Karol G told Billboard on the eve of the music video’s release. “In her verse, she says: ‘It’s me and Karol G, and we let the rats talk.’ I died, I revived, I died and revived again until I understood Nicki Minaj had said my name in her verse.”
Minaj does more than that: The song — whose title “Tusa” is Colombian slang for that mix of heartache and spite many of us feel when someone dumps us — begins with Minaj speaking in Spanish. Then Karol G comes in with catchy verses set over strings and a reggaeton beat (courtesy of producer Ovy On the Drums), before Minaj again drops in in Spanish.
“She surprised me by recording four full lines in Spanish,” says Karol G. In addition, the day of the video, “She asked me to teach her how to sing the chorus in Spanish. And in the video, she does it.”
The chemistry between the two stars began over Instagram this past summer, and the two traded songs until Karol G sent “Tusa” over. Minaj loved it.
“She called me and said: ‘I’m going to make the best rap of my life for your song,’” recalls Karol G. “I felt so happy. I sent her the music at 1 p.m. At 1:07 p.m., she downloaded the file, and at 8 p.m., I had the song back.”
As for how to get over that “tusa,” Karol G says she has the technique down to a science: “First and foremost, work out. Look awesome so he eats his heart out the next time he sees you.”