Abstract: First single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
"Starships" is the lead single from Nicki Minaj's potentially disastrous sophomore LP, and it's a studio pop experiment with Lady Gaga's go-to beatsmith, RedOne.
I know the song is titled "Starships" but the image I have in mind as I listen is one of a luxury car -- a fancy convertible with the top down, one so fashionable it's rarely cool. This car, however, is made from parts of other cars: a Maybach door here, a Lexus grill there.
In all fairness, though, it's not a janky ride. The sound system is top of the line, best enjoyed with the volume cranked all the way up. Things get hot and sweaty around the 1:10 mark as our fancy ride transforms into a dance hall, bass booming, hands pumping. "Dancehall life, there's no end in sight," Minaj raps.
She definitely has her sight on the pop charts. Aside from the introductory verse and occasional bursts of rhymes, Minaj doesn't rap here. There's not much actual singing either -- she opts for that whatsis pop stars do when vocal talent is unavailable, rhymes "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with a sense of humor, and does her usual vocal shift gimmick. It's actually kind of brilliant.
How you perceive "Starships" will depend on which side of the Nicki Minaj glass half-full debate you're on. Is it a break from a string of bad trips or a glimmer of hope in a desperate search for a hit? Either way you see it, vistas of pop glory seem to open ahead of Nicki Minaj as she cruises to every dance hall in America.