Nice For What

Album: Scary Hours (2018)
Charted: 1 1

Songfacts®:

  • Drake speaks throughout this song about women's lives in the digital age. The chorus samples Lauryn Hill's 1998 hit "Ex Factor." Cardi B also interpolated the same single on "Be Careful," which was dropped just a week previously. Drake previously sampled Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" for his sports-themed 2014 single "Draft Day."
  • The Karena Evans-directed star-studded video features a string of women in positions of power. They include actresses Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Tiffany Haddish, Michelle Rodriguez Letitia Wright. Emma Roberts, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross and Rashida Jones along with singer Syd and ballet dancer Misty Copeland. Drake can also be seen dancing along with the track.
  • The song was produced by Murda Beatz with co-production handled by Blaqnmild. Murda Beatz, who is also known for his work with Migos, has previously produced such songs for Drizzy as "With You," "Portland" and "No Long Talk."
  • "Nice For What" features clips on the intro and bridge from Big Freedia, who is credited with helping popularize the New Orleans genre of hip hop called bounce music. Freedia was thrilled to get acceptance from a mainstream artist like Drake. She told The Fader:

    "I was super excited about my voice being at the beginning of the song…they sent the track for me to approve it and I was like, 'S--t, I don't care what I say on it, long as I'm on it."
  • The song features additional production by New Orleans veteran 5th Ward Weebie, who has also worked with Big Easy legends like Lil Wayne and Master P. Weebie first linked up with Drake through Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant and he noticed right away that the Toronto MC had done "his homework on bounce music."

    "I have never experienced or heard any artist outside of New Orleans get the bounce element right besides this one," Weebie explained to Genius. "This was so dead on."

    "They didn't watch over us, they didn't hover over us, they let us do what we do," Weebie added about the studio session with his frequent production collaborator BlaqNmilD. "If you're looking for a real New Orleans bounce track, it gives you a lot of high energy, make it twerk, we chop up vocals."
  • "Nice for What" debuted at #1 on the Hot 100 dated April 21, 2018 replacing another Drake song, "God's Plan," at the top spot. The previous performer to supplant himself at the summit as a lead artist was Justin Bieber whose "Love Yourself" replaced "Sorry," on February 13, 2016.
  • Drake wrote the song at his house while playing the video game NBA 2K with Murda Beatz. They decided to sample a female artist, and went with Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor," a track from her Grammy-gobbling album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

    Murda Beatz recalled in a Rap Radar podcast: "We picked the part, chopped it up, I made the beat while he was playing 2K."

    Once Drake heard the beat, he paused his video gaming to start writing the song. "He sat there, wrote the s--t in front of me, cut the s--t in front of me," the producer said. "We got the s--t done, beat and song, probably in like an hour and a half. And then he finished up the second verse later on."
  • As well as borrowing from Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" (1998), "Nice For What" also samples "Drag Rap" by the Showboys (1986) and "Get Your Roll On" by Big Tymers (2000). As a result there are 21 credited songwriters in total.
  • The musician Sam Skully sued both Drake and Big Freedia for allegedly using a pair of his beats without permission. Skully claims that a portion of his 2000 track "Roll Call" was sampled for this song, as well as for "In My Feelings."

    Skully claimed that he was never approached by Drake or any of his people about the allegedly uncleared samples. To that end he asked for damages and a cut of the profits generated by both songs.

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