|Single by 6ix9ine featuring Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz|
|from the album Dummy Boy|
|Released||July 22, 2018|
|6ix9ine singles chronology|
|Nicki Minaj singles chronology|
|Murda Beatz singles chronology|
"Fefe" (stylized in all uppercase) is a single by American rapper 6ix9ine. The song features American rapper Nicki Minaj and Canadian record producer Murda Beatz. It was released on July 22, 2018, through TenThousand Projects. The song was written by the three, along with Andrew Green and the song's co-producer, Cubeatz. The song served as the second single from 6ix9ine’s debut album, Dummy Boy (2018).
Commercially, the song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, marking 6ix9ine's highest peaking song on the chart. It was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Nicki Minaj received criticism for her choice to collaborate with Tekashi 6ix9ine, who had plead guilty to a sexual performance with a 13-year-old child. She responded by citing Lady Gaga's collaboration with R. Kelly for the 2013 single "Do What U Want" in justifying her friendship and collaboration with the convicted sex criminal, claiming that it demonstrated a double standard within the music industry.
- 1 Background and release
- 2 Artwork
- 3 Composition and lyrics
- 4 Critical reception
- 5 Commercial performance
- 6 Music video
- 7 Media response
- 8 Credits and personnel
- 9 Charts
- 10 Certifications
- 11 Release history
- 12 References
Background and release
A track with the title "Fefe" has leaked in snippet prior to the song's official release. During his European tour in June 2018, 6ix9ine revealed that he planned to release the song featuring a surprise guest, when he returns to the United States. "I got a really cool feature on it. It’s a surprise," he said. On July 18, he shared on Instagram a lo-fi audio clip of the song, with the caption, "Subscribe before Sunday." A verse from it made some listeners advance that it would possibly feature Nicki Minaj.
On July 20, he announced that the track would be released two days later, and said, "Watch this shit go 8 for 8 on Billboard." On July 22, the song was officially released as a single for digital download. On July 24, 6ix9ine claimed that he will donate a portion of sales from the single to New York youth programs. Although 6ix9ine is credited as the main artist, Minaj raps for two verses and provides ad libs which heavily influence the sound of the song. The track was included as a bonus track on Minaj's fourth studio album Queen (2018), but not counted towards the platinum certification of her album. As a result Queen wasn't officially certified platinum until January of 2019. https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/?tab_active=default-award&se=nicki+minaj#
Composition and lyrics
"Fefe" was both composed and produced by Murda Beatz and duo Cubeatz, consisting of Kevin and Tim Gomringer, while its lyrics were written by Andrew Green, 6ix9ine, and Minaj. The track is two minutes and fifty-nine seconds long. Minaj explained the making of the song saying, "6ix9ine sent me this song & we got on the phone to discuss. 5 mins after the call I sent him this voice note. True story. He sent me a voice note back making fun of my voice. I was literally in bed half sleep! […] I was inspired because it reminded me of a song I did with Gucci years ago." 6ix9ine said about the recording, "We go in the studio and just be having fun and then it's a hit… I didn’t put no effort into that shit." The cadence used by both rappers in the song was noted to be similar to Valee's feature verse on Z Money's song "Two 16's" (2017), with 6ix9ine particularly seeming to stray from his usual aggressive rapping style to a calm, more melodic autotuned flow. Lyrically, the song features 6ix9ine boasting about his street cred, while Minaj is bragging about her jewelry, fashion, and sexual prowess. The latter namechecks rapper ASAP Rocky, television personality Khloé Kardashian, and singer-songwriter Tinashe.
Draco is also a constellation (The Dragon) and the colorful video shows the open mouth of a dragon behind them in several scenes. Nicki first appears in the mouth of the dragon and they walk back into the dragon at the end of the video.
In Noisey, Kristin Corry expressed discomfort about the song, "not because of who the two polarizing rappers happened to be but because of the imagery," referring to 6ix9ine's sexual misconduct case involving a minor while the song's visuals and cover art are childlike. For Idolator, Mike Wass was more neutral in his review, writing "[Minaj's] new era hasn’t exactly gone to plan and she seems to be losing ground against her main rivals [...] Time will tell if Nicki’s latest feature does more harm to her career than good". Nylon's Taylor Bryan added the collaboration to Minaj's list of controversies during 2018, writing "if 2017 was the year of questioning Katy Perry, 2018 is the year of questioning Nicki Minaj." In a positive review, Peter A. Berry of XXL said its beat "serves as an appropriate audio canvas for the song", with 6ix9ine's rap "showcasing a much gentler delivery than the one he used on tracks like "Gummo" and "Keke". He concluded that "with some authentic NYC confidence and a memorable hook, "Fefe" is definitely a slapper". Time considered "Fefe" as the second worst song of 2018.
In the United States, "Fefe" launched on the Billboard Hot 100 at number four with 24,000 copies sold and 45.7 million streams during its first week. The following week, it ascended to number three. It became 6ix9ine's highest-charting single by succeeding the peak of "Gummo" at number 12, and marked Minaj's seventeenth top ten entry on the chart, extending her record for the most among female rappers.  The single was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Internationally, "Fefe" also reached the top ten in Australia, Canada, Hungary, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland as well as the top twenty in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
Background and release
6ix9ine has shared during his European tour in June 2018, that he planned to release a music video for the song when he returns to the United States. After teasing the song on July 19, he wrote in a separate post, "I'm giving you guys one last music video this Sunday before I go to jail forever," referencing his legal troubles during that period. The same day, TMZ reported that 6ix9ine rush-ordered a new My Little Pony chain in order to wear it during a scheduled video shoot with Minaj. The music video was released through YouTube on July 22, a few hours after the song's release. It was directed by TrifeDrew and William Asher of Figure Eight Creative Group, with additional direction from 6ix9ine. It features toddler-sized lollipops and SUPERINFLATED balloon art.
The music video amassed more than 32 million views in its first three days online, and more than 70 million views in less than a week. A vertical music video for the song was subsequently released on Spotify. As of July 2019, the music video on YouTube has over 730 million views.
The music video opens with 6ix9ine and Minaj playing a clapping game on a balloon-filled set. 6ix9ine then raps his verse laced in a cheetah print top and pink camouflage shorts, while Murda Beatz makes a cameo appearance holding two heavy-duty water guns. Minaj reintroduces herself shortly after for an extended cameo, rapping two verses and shouting out 6ix9ine's Treyway gang. The couple sits face-to-face once again and share an ice-cream cone with their arms interlocked (recreating the single artwork.) According to Peter A. Berry of XXL, the music video "looks sort of like a Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory".
Nicki Minaj received backlash for her choice to collaborate with Tekashi 6ix9ine. That year, the controversial rapper had pleaded guilty to one felony count after posting explicit videos of his sexual performance with a 13-year-old child in 2015. Fellow American rapper Azealia Banks criticized Minaj in a series of tweets and Instagram posts dated July 24, for collaborating and touring with 6ix9ine. She said, "I'm sorry. Dude gets convicted and you’re still trying to help him out of it? That is very dark," and described working with 6ix9ine as a "slap [to] all of your 8-15 year old fans and their moms in the face". She added that "pedophilia is absolutely gross and evil. Anyone who supports that shit is a lunatic". Nicki Minaj's decision to work with him on the single and the sexually provocative nature of its music video came off as willfully ignorant in the wake his allegations at the height of the #MeToo movement. In an article published on Pitchfork, columnist Shanita Hubbard addressed the issue and discussed the cultural normalization of predatory behavior. She briefly touched on the social media campaign #MuteRKelly, writing, "The choice to use her platform to further legitimize a sexual predator is in direct contrast with the nation-wide, black women-led movement to silence music’s most infamous abuser." Hubbard also noted that Minaj's actions contradict with statements she made previously. On May 25, 2012, Minaj spoke out against child molesters in a tweet where she stated, "And for the record on sum serious shit, I believe people who abuse children should be stoned to death in public. The end." Hubbard concluded by writing:
"If this pattern of normalization continues to seep into our culture, by the time the magnitude of the damage is determined it will have caused irreparable harm to society. While Minaj’s album is titled Queen, I have no expectations of her to reign over the moral compass of hip-hop. Nor do I expect her to rule her career with flawless perfection. But I do hope she realizes that the message she sends by supporting an abuser threatens to eclipse the vibrant verses she has spent years perfecting. 
In response, Nicki Minaj pointed to Lady Gaga's collaborative work with R. Kelly when justifying her friendship and collaboration with the convicted sex criminal 6ix9ine. Minaj highlighted how the very same publication had praised Lady Gaga's 2013 collaboration with R. Kelly on the single "Do What U Want," despite Kelly's public allegations of child pornography. In a review, contributor Jordan Sargent had described the song as "deliciously slinky" and a "runaway hit", while Pitchfork news director Amy Phillips listed "Do What U Want" as one of her top three favorite tracks of 2013. Minaj called the move bullying and claimed that this demonstrated a double standard within the music industry. She wrote, "This is what happens when you release a great body of work after they spent millions to ruin you. Lol. 4 albums later still breaking records. ... #Queen is flawless." After numerous requests, Nicki Minaj later on deleted her tweets.
Conversely, American singer Tinashe and television personality Khloé Kardashian expressed their excitement about being name checked on the track on their social media pages. Justin Credible of Power 106 radio station announced on air on July 23, 2018, that he refuses to play 6ix9ine’s verse on "Fefe", attributing his decision to the latter disrespecting Los Angeles. He remained willing to play Minaj’s verse.
Credits and personnel
- 6ix9ine – lead vocals
- Nicki Minaj – featured vocals
- Murda Beatz – production
- Kevin Gomringer – co-production
- Tim Gomringer – co-production
- Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine – engineering
- Wizard Lee Weinberg – engineering, mastering, mixing
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||80,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||45,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||15,000*|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Gold||3,000,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Worldwide||July 22, 2018||
|United States||August 2018||
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