Nicki Minaj’s New Single “Starships” is Both Amazing and Derivative

Nicki Minaj has a new song out. It’s called “Starships” and it’s, well…amazing. And entirely derivative. (It’s a theme this week, apparently.)

In fact, the RedOne-produced “Starships” (which was co-produced and penned by Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Wayne Hector) is almost impressively derivative, “borrowing” from nearly every Top 10 radio hit of 2011 (including one of Minaj’s own): The opening guitar lick of P!nk‘s “Raise Your Glass,” the surging pulse of David Guetta‘s “Where Them Girls At (feat. Flo Rida & Minaj),” the beat breakdown of LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem,” the rallying “Whoa-oh-oh-oh!” cry of Britney‘s “Till The World Ends,” and the bridge of Chris Brown‘s “Yeah 3x.” It’s almost like one of those DJ Earworm year end mash-ups…except, you know, not.

As a result, the song’s a lot like Mizz Minaj’s Grammy Award performance on Sunday–completely nuts o’clock. But unlike Mizz Minaj’s Grammy Award performance on Sunday, I’m actually having some fun this time around.

Like “Super Bass,” “Starships” sees Minaj moving further and further away from her rap roots (RIP Mixtape Minaj) into pop territory, now relying on drunk club-pop (a la her latest collaboration with David Guetta, “Turn Me On”) to propel her to new heights. And while the rapping is left to a minimum, it’s still classic Minaj brand insanity, bouncing between the beach, to refusing to pay rent–even briefly championing gay rights: “Fuck who you want, fuck who you’d like!”

Sure, it’s frivolous and almost shamefully mindless–that’s the point, according to Minaj. From Seacrest:

I’ve never had this much fun recording music in my life. My first album I was very guarded. I felt like I was making music to please everyone else. I had to be politically correct, but this album I am just creating music, and it there’s such a big difference. Literally in the studio we were cracking up laughing, having fun, and enjoying ourselves. The music itself your going to get every side that I’ve ever shown and then a little bit extra. I’ve tried to make it very, very balanced, because I don’t ever want to be boxed in, and that’s always what drives me. So I made a very diverse album.

Honestly, it’s just nice to see that Godney’s influence is still going strong in 2012.

As if she wasn’t enough of a polarizing figure in pop, Minaj is bound to further ensconce her haters, enamor her lovers, or, as I suspect to be the case with most people, result in the same begrudging reaction I had to Katy Perry‘s “Part Of Me”:

Goddammit, that’s good.


“Starships” was released on February 14. (iTunes)

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