Celebrating Three Years Of Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish”

Mike Wass | May 19, 2020 3:58 pm
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Today should be a public holiday. Three years ago, Katy Perry released “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj as the third single from Witness — an event that triggered one of the messiest episodes in Stan Twitter history. Yes, I’m talking about the great Swiftie Vs Katy Cat war of 2017. Who will ever forget the endless shade, constant swapping of receipts or the passive-aggressive posting of chart positions? Not I. In retrospect, it all seems rather quaint. The pop queens have reconciled and “Swish Swish” lives on as the ultimate guilty pleasure.

From the shady lyrics to the use of sports metaphors (when the average pop fan couldn’t tell the difference between a basketball and javelin), this is comedy gold. Albeit with a killer soundtrack — shout out to Duke Dumont and whoever decided to sample Fatboy Slim’s “Star69.” I particularly enjoy the endless shot-firing, most memorably in the second verse. “Your game is tired, you should retire,” the “Daisies” singer pouts. “You’re about cute as an old coupon, expired.” Take that!

It just gets more melodramatic as we approach the chorus. “So keep calm, honey, I’ma stick around,” Katy promises. “For more than a minute, get used to it.” Her final word? “Swish, swish, bish — another one in the basket.” Unfortunately, the bop turned out to be something of an airball when it stalled at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. Happily, our heroine had the last laugh. “Swish Swish” went on to become a streaming phenomenon — in excess of 1.1 billion — largely due the Dave Meyers-directed visual and the iconic lyric video starring Brazil’s sexiest woman (AKA Gretchen).

In an alternate, less chaotic universe, Katy would have released “Roulette,” “Miss You More” or “Déjà Vu” (to name but a few overlooked gems) as the third single from Witness. But, ultimately, I’m very glad that “Swish Swish” — and the mess surrounding it — exists. Watch both clips below.

The official video:

The lyric video:

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