The collaboration also sees the two coming together for an old-school music video directed by Sophie Muller, who previously collaborated with Stefani on the videos for No Doubt’s iconic ballad “Don’t Speak” and solo track “Wind It Up.”
Saweetie conveys unapologetic confidence during her verse, rapping over the ska-infused instrumental: “My favorite position is CEO check the stats/ Me and Gwen Stefani snatchin’ wigs on the track.” She also references tennis star Naomi Osaka, saying, “servin’ aces like Naomi,” and pays homage to Stefani’s songs “Hollaback Girl” and “Rich Girl” with the cheeky line: “I ain’t no Hollaback bitch/ Now I got it, I ain’t gotta act rich.”
In fact, Stefani says that the collaboration came to be after she saw Saweetie jamming along to her song “Luxurious” from her 2004 album “Love. Angel. Music. Baby” on her Instagram story.
“I saw on the internet that Saweetie had posted her listening to my song ‘Luxurious,’ so then I wrote to the guy helping me find a feature, ‘Oh look, it’s in the air, Saweetie’s listening to my song,'” Stefani tells Variety. “He said, ‘Oh, you want her to hop on your song?’ I said, ‘Sure!’ and then literally the next day she posts, ‘I’m going in to work with someone, here’s a clue: she’s iconic.'”
Saweetie laid down her verse that very day, and Stefani decided to reshoot the “Slow Clap” video — most of which had already been filmed — in order to include her.
“It’s just fun because I haven’t really worked with a lot of female rappers besides Eve, and at that time we were more like peers,” Stefani says. “This is like she’s like literally so much younger, and to have two girls that are from different genres of music — that’s what I love about it.”
Stefani says she wrote “Slow Clap” for all the underdogs in the world — including herself as she enters this new phase of her career.
“It’s kind of based on all these underdogs we grew up with in the ’80s, like the movie ‘Lucas’ where he’s the nerd and then everyone kind of slow claps him at the end for being a champion,” Stefani says. “It’s weird, I love songs that are quirky and silly, but the actual lyrics in the song are quite deep. It really reveals what I was going through at the time.”
Watch the music video for “Slow Clap” featuring Saweetie below.