After owning the past two years with “WAP” and “Up” and reasserting her presence in the current NY drill takeover with “Shake It,” Cardi B has returned with the lead single for her forthcoming sophomore album.

With verses from Lil Durk and Kanye West, “Hot Shit” is little more than a lukewarm offering. Produced by Tay Keith, “Hot Shit” finds the three rappers delivering stale bars about opps, wealth, and sex. At times, Cardi’s flow is reminiscent of “Up,” but her sample of “Electric Boogie” is worth the redundancy. “Pretty when I wake up, I’m a bad bitch at breakfast / Still might slide on a opp (It’s electric!),” she spits.

The problem with “Hot Shit” is that everyone feels disengaged. Cardi doesn’t have even a quarter of the fire and bite she displayed in her “Shake It” verse, and her usual charisma is severely lacking. Durk sleepwalks through his verse; he doesn’t even attempt to give us anything new or different from the countless songs he’s put out in 2022. And then there was Kanye. After solid showings on Future’s “Keep It Burnin” and Fivio Foreign’s “City of Gods,” Kanye’s “Hot Shit” verse is particularly abysmal. “When we lost Virg’, I was on the verge, mm-mm /I just hit the Louis store, I had to splurge, mm-mm,” he raps in this scatterbrained verse. Tay Keith’s menacing trap beat can only do so much, especially when all three artists sound like they’d rather be doing anything other than rapping on this track. Moreover, the barely discernible hook, which wastes the excellent “I thought I killed you hoes before, it must be déjà vu / It’s either that or I’m catchin’ body number two,” further spoils the party.

“Hot Shit” is not a strong lead single. Cardi has come harder as recently as a few months ago, so, hopefully, this is just a minor misstep on the road to her second album.