Her father died. She had a kid. Of course, she was also working on an album. Beam Me Up Scotty is a rework of Nicki Minaj‘s third mixtape.
Still She Rises
The remastered mixtape, now an album, also includes new material from the biggest woman in rap. It opens with ‘Seeing Green’ featuring Drake and Lil Wayne. Nicki Minaj shared in a livestream introducing the surprise album it was Drake’s motivational text messages which brought her out of a long period of writer’s block. Drake and Wayne, who both appeared on the original release, strike an instant chemistry. The triumphant tone of ‘Seeing Green’ suggests Minaj is far from making a curtain call.
Nicki Minaj rules rap. Can she re-conquer pop?
While 2018 album Queen made it only to Number Two in the US, controversially due to a competing Beyonce release, Nick Minaj’s fame has grown considerably in recent years. Her reputation now outsizes her musical output. It extends outside of music. Minaj rules Instagram with more than 135 million loyal followers. She is a style icon with a reputation of a modern Marilyn Monroe.
Which makes it the perfect time to deliver the album reaffirming her musical status. The boundaries between pop and rap in place when Minaj first started her journey to the top no longer exist. Can the queen of rap become the queen of pop?
It is possible. Nicki Minaj has overcome massive odds to cement herself as one of the influential musical acts of the last decade. Remember pop-rap? She arrived at a time where it was suicide for an artist who wanted to rap and sing on the same CD. Let alone a song.
Through single-minded ambition, she launched herself into the popular imagination. And there is no question that once she did Minaj struggled for critical recognition. (She was famously snubbed by The Grammys who chose Bon Iver instead of her for Best New Artist in 2012). Today the only thing between Minaj and complete command of pop culture is her own conflicting aspirations. Earlier last year Minaj revealed she was taking a timeout taken to give birth to her first child.
How Nicki Minaj embodies the American Dream
Minaj has worked hard. As she states in the introduction to Beam Me Up Scotty, “I wanted it the most.” She is willing to put everything on the line to achieve her dreams and make her fantasy real. This ambition has never been a secret. She did, after all, appear on the cover of Beam Me Up Scotty dressed as Wonderwoman.
The media crowns Lana Del Rey as the artist whose work embodies the spirit of the American dream. This is a lie. It’s Minaj. Arriving in America as an immigrant at age 5, the Trinidad-born Minaj made her way to the top of the rap world. Then, she changed her body and herself into the person she wanted to be (or perhaps the Barbie doll fantasy male power structures make it necessary for women to succeed) to become a pop star.
It was all, if Minaj’s official story is to be believed, to get money to protect and care for her mother. In short, she has done everything it takes to succeed. She embodies the ideal equality and opportunity is open to any American willing to do the work it takes to claim it. “Every time a door opens for me,” Minaj sings on ‘Still I Rise’, “it opens for you.” With her highest aspirations and goals seemingly achieved, it is understandable Minaj wants to celebrate the journey which took her there.
The cover of Nicki Minaj’s Beam Me Up Scotty.
Boss Ass B*tch
The new material hints at how Nicki Minaj’s eventual return will sound. Older songs from Beam Me Up Scotty sound surprisingly fun, just revisit Minaj in full pop vocalist mode in ‘Gotta Go Hard’ or the playful absurdities of any of the ‘Nicki Minaj Speaks’ interludes. The mixtape is also remarkably ambitious and its high definition retouching certainly benefits the material. Fans waiting for a proper follow-up to Queen may be disappointed, however. Nicki Minaj, like Taylor Swift, seems content leaning on her back-catalog until the freezing effect the coronavirus pandemic casts over touring subsides.
Nicki Minaj ‘Beam Me Up Scotty’ Album Tracklist
- SEEING GREEN – NICKI MINAJ, DRAKE, LIL WAYNE
- CROCODILE TEETH (REMIX) – NICKI MINAJ, SKILLIBENG
- CHI-RAQ – FEAT. G. HERBO
- BOSS ASS BITCH (REMIX) – NICKI MINAJ, PTAF
- ITTY BITTY PIGGY
- I GET CRAZY – FEAT. LIL WAYNE
- KILL DA DJ
- NICKI MINAJ SPEAKS
- SLUMBER PARTY – FEAT. GUCCI MANE
- SHOPAHOLIC – FEAT. GUCCI MANE, BOBBY V, & F1JO
- GOTTA GO HARD – FEAT. LIL WAYNE
- NICKI MINAJ SPEAKS #2
- BEST I EVER HAD (REMIX) – NICKI MINAJ, DRAKE
- KEYS UNDER PALM TREES
- EASY – FEAT. GUCCI MANE & ROCKO
- NICKI MINAJ SPEAKS #3
- CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?
- STILL I RISE
- BEAM ME UP SCOTTY
Minaj on top
Ahead of its time
No new album in 2021?
More reworks ahead...
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