This fierce-as-hell, hotter-than-the-desert track kicks off with a simple proclamation: “Be my woman, girl, I'll be your man.” Reversing the gender of the statement, Nicki Minaj is there to list all the perks available to you should you enter into a relationship with her (that is, if she finds you worthy...but that's a different story) over a throbbing bass and subtle, staccato tabla that gives the song an international vibe. Bebe Rexha's soaring vocals bring the song to seemingly unreachable heights, building you higher and higher before Nicki brings you plummeting back down to weave more dreams in your head. Don't bother trying not to get caught up in the vibe—two seconds in, it's already too late.
Did you know?
- The pre-verse hook was sampled from a song called “Rosie,” which was recorded by American musicologist Alex Lomax. The origins of the song are unclear; all that's known is that it was recorded in the deep South in the 1940s.
- Singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha contributed the chorus, but is not listed as a featured artist on the track. She has stated that the reasoning behind this decision was because, with Nicki Minaj and Afrojack already named, adding a third name would have been too much. Rexha has stated that she was disappointed, but understood the decision. She is, however, given co-writer credit.
- “Hey Mama” was the sixth single released off of Guetta's sixth studio album “Listen,” and was the second single on the album (after “Dangerous”) to break into the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
- “Hey Mama” has been certified as Silver or higher in more than five countries, including the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.
- The song marks the third collaboration between Guetta and Minaj, and is the second to break into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.