For months, the online rumour mill has churned with suspicions that Beyonce and Lady Gaga would reunite for a third collaboration, a single called "Ratchet."
Eagle-eyed fans pointed to the Instagram accounts of the two formidable pop divas as proof that a new collaboration was brewing.
The rumours started when Beyonce posted a set of pictures of her hoop earrings — engraved with the word "Ratchet" — on the photo-sharing website. In one, the singer rocks the chunky accessory and a fitted Houston Rockets cap on what appears to be a set of some sort.
Adding to the theory was an Instagram snap of Gaga sporting her own hoops engraved with the word. For the uninformed, "ratchet" is slang for an around-the-way girl from the hood (not to be confused with having a "ratchet" state of mind or "ratchetness," which is unsavoury behaviour that's largely unprintable).
Naturally, bamboo hoop earrings does not a single make. But Gaga spilled the beans late last year that she had finished a track by the same name featuring firecracker rapper Azealia Banks. She also told a fan via Twitter that there would be a sequel to "Telephone," the first of two collaborations Gaga and Bey released.
A short snippet of a beat allegedly produced by Gaga collaborator DJ White Shadow surfaced online in January, and Rihanna's name was also thrown into the mix after the singer tweeted Gaga lyrics with the hashtag of, you guessed it, "ratchet."
Banks, who of late has gotten into more Twitter spats than issued music, added the latest smoking gun during a interview with Australian radio station George FM earlier this week when she was quizzed about collaborating with other artists. "I like working by myself, not to say I don't like collaborating with other people but, like, I never know what to do. I can't really absorb the vibe," she said before catching herself. "I'm lying because I've collaborated with Lady Gaga and Beyonce and Kanye West."
Though she didn't confirm the speculated new single, it only fuelled the fire, especially after a handwritten track list for Beyonce's highly anticipated album mysteriously surfaced this week.
The way-too-good-to-be-true list for the album (supposedly called "Mrs Carter," after her upcoming world tour) features collaborations with husband Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Sia and Rihanna, with "Ratchet" opening the record. And so the plot thickens.