As promised, Fergie has released a new song entitled “MILF $”—pronounced “MILF money”—and as promised, I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!”
Conceptually, “MILF $” is thrilling—we certainly could use more instances of older women (relatively speaking) in pop music talking about how being older (again, relatively speaking; Fergie is just 41) has enabled them to self-actualize into bosses. (Also, when was the last time you heard a mother bragging about being one in pop music, outside of treacly ballads?)
In execution, though, this song is a pastiche of sadistic proportions, Fergie’s stulting flow jacked shamelessly from Missy Elliott and obscuring a clattering electro beat that might make sense placed elsewhere, if it didn’t devolve into a faux gospel breakdown pulled straight from the musical theater.
Last week, an Australian prankster with an iPhone approached Iggy Azalea in an airport and asked her how it felt to have ruined hip-hop. On the scale of flimsy appropriators, Fergie has often felt like one of the least of our troubles, offering an enduring, gossamer pop number like “Glamorous” from time to time. But in her wake Iggy has seemed to open the gates of hell, or perhaps Fergie is just staking claim to a rapping-whitegirl pop star oeuvre she believes is her rightful territory; since the announcement of Double Dutchess in 2014, she seems to have gone down an aggressively Iggy path, and “MILF $” seems like a referendum on that: you can imagine who she might mean when she says “You got that milk money/I got that MILF money.”
Still, there is a chance at redemption; EW reports she has already filmed the video for this truly chilling number, and that it may include fellow famous moms such as Ciara, Kim Kardashian, and Chrissy Tiegen, which is a nice concept. And yet, those faces all but guarantee its virality, and therefore the virality of this song. Have you seen the movie Contagion? It starts with but a sneeze.
Image via Interscope Records