Diversity is a beautiful thing, especially when artists are aware of existing genres and don’t have an issue playing around with it once in a while but Nicki Minaj, you’re throwing me for a loop.
I rarely listen to the radio because I’m not an advocate for hearing the same song twice an hour on the hour—everyday. This morning I decided to give it a listen, ugh. Tuning in to KIIS FM, Ryan Seacrest premiered Nicki Minaj’s new single “Starships,” which is featured on her sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded via Young Money released on April Fool’s Day, literally.
The moment it started and I heard that deep ridiculous voice she makes, I instantly thought, great… it’s “Superbass,” part two. Now, I’ve been a fan of Minaj back when she was considered an underground artist, when her “Beam Me up Scotty” EP was on repeat in my iPod, the days she referred to herself as Nicki Lewinsky at times. Yeah, way back then. Now, I respect her free-spirit nature in dabbling in various genres, especially with “Starships,” which is a house track in the expected commercial form; but here’s the issue I’m running into. When it comes to Minaj, there are moments when I feel she’s attempting to please her mainstream crowd of fans by creating music that’s popular amongst the commercial airwaves. It’s a fact that the radio wouldn’t give Minaj the time of day to play her older material like “I Get Crazy,”“Itty Bitty Piggy," or even “Roman in Moscow,” which would make older women clutch their pearls in horror because she was real, honest and didn’t give a fuck what others think. That’s what I respect about Minaj and the reason I naturally admired her music. Within two years, her initial sound has made a 180 turn. Now when I think of Nicki Minaj, I don’t think of a rapper, I think of commercial artist. She symbolized that female artist who could climb to the top by spitting hardcore raps like previous female rappers like Queen Latifah and Mc Lyte but it’s insane how quick the music industry molded her into something new. Now, it’s about the money, producing music that will sell amongst the commercial scene.
To be honest, I thought the older Nicki would re-surface. When “Roman in Moscow” and “Stupid Hoe” hit the music scene I was thrilled, blasting the tracks to the maximum level in my headphones. I remember the night I saw Nicki Minaj live on the Femme Fatale tour, the audience didn’t respond to her true rap tracks like “Roman’s Revenge,” but the entire stadium went insane when “Superbass,” started. I’m 100% confident “Starships,” is going to soar on the music charts, it’s a catchy track that will stay stuck in your mind for days as you sing it out, which is disappointing. For a person who listened to her music since 2009, I’m a fan of rapper Nicki Minaj, not the pop tart Nicki Minaj.