Hard White

Album: Queen (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Nicki Minaj boasting about her luxurious lifestyle while reminding people how she got there.

    I used to work hard just to get half back
    Now I'm getting to it that way
    I ain't coming through unless the bag straight


    Leaked in April 2018 under the title, "Half Back," the track was renamed and remastered to be featured on Queen.
  • Minaj started working on the song in early 2017 (late February - early March) during Paris Fashion, the same time Minaj laid down the three-pack ("No Frauds," "Changed It" and "Regret in Your Tears"). It is the oldest track on Queens. Minaj's recording engineer, Aubry "Big Juice" Delaine, recalled the story of the song to Rolling Stone:

    "I remember somebody had already sent her that beat [for 'Hard White'] and she was just doing ideas to it. She came back to it later, then we were in New York, so maybe December or January she finished it. But we had that beat the longest."
  • Nicki Minaj calls out strippers-turned-rappers during the second verse.

    Uh, I ain't never played a hoe position
    I ain't ever have to strip to get the pole position
    Hoes is dissin'? Okay, these hoes is wishin'
    You're in no position to come for O's position


    Many fans have speculated that these lines are targeting Minaj's fellow New Yorker Cardi B, who worked as a stripper before becoming a rapper. However the fact that the song was recorded before Cardi B broke through with "Bodak Yellow" probably debunks that theory.
  • The song was produced by:

    Boi-1da, who is an in-house producer for Drake's OVO Sound label. He has also worked on hit songs for the likes of Big Sean ("Blessings"), Eminem ("Not Afraid") and Rihanna ("Work").

    !llmind is a Filipino-American hip-hop producer who has created beats for the likes of Drake ("You & The 6 "), The Carters ("Heard About Us ") and 2 Chainz ("Bigger Than You").
  • Boi1da and !llmind have been collaborating together on beats since 2014. !ilmind told Billboard the story of this production:

    "I remember working on some of the melodies for that song back in late 2016 early 2017. When me and Boi1da collaborate, we don't really know who the artist is yet, we kind of just work on beats. That was one of those beats that we worked on. He sent it over to Nicki and she used it and it came out crazy. I wasn't able to be in the studio when she did it, but I knew it was coming out at some point."

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