Ahh, puppy love. What would the summer be without it? Kids sneaking out of their bunks at overnight camp to go swimming in the lake, making out while watching 4th of July fireworks, sharing tall milkshakes and ice cream sodas at the local diner—it’s all a rite of passage for growing up. (So we hear, anyway—we were too busy holing up in the basement and hiding from the sunlight when we were young to know for sure.) Now, Soulja Boy and Nicki Minaj aren’t kids, technically speaking–both are in their 20s, though Soulja still won’t be able to drink legally until July–but new duet “I Love You” is still the summer’s first great mash note of a pop jam.
The two-minute jam features one verse each from Soulja and Nicki (and it sounds like there might be a cut somewhere in the middle, so prepare for a lost third verse somewhere down the line) as they proclaim their feelings for one another, and Nicki even prepares for their wedding (“Get my flower girls, and get my bridesmaid / Don’t need a gift, little mama, ‘coz this bride’s paid”). On the whole, Nicki seems more invested than Soulja, who easily gets distracted by boasts about “swordfish zucchini” (???) and his “swag so sick / I go get a doctor,” but both sound cheek-pinching cute over the sweet, synth-heavy beat, so much so that a couple awkward rhymes (“So I’m with Nicki and she’s looking so lovely / And I’m on cloud nine above me”) can easily be forgiven.
Most of all, “I Love You” reminds of Bow Wow and Ciara’s 2005 hit duet “Like You,” another unspectacular-but-impossible-to-hate collaboration between two head-in-the-clouds lovebirds. Now, we don’t know for a fact—or even for a rumor—if Soulja and Nicki have any sort of involvement, but as Nicki raps, “I call him SB / He call me Nicki Tell ‘Em.” You have to be pretty intimate with another person to give them those kind of pet names, don’t you? Yeah, we’re calling a September wedding for DeAndre and Onika.