Single Review: Nicki Minaj – ‘Anaconda’3 min read
Nicki Minaj’s wacky Pink Friday days are over. 2014 marks a new era for the rapper – she seems to have grown out of her box of crazy dress up, opting rather for a cleaner, classier look. Now that Iggy Azalea has proven to be a hot competitor for the Rap Queen throne, Minaj has upped her game – she’s collaborated with big names including Usher and Beyoncé, and her third studio album The Pink Print is scheduled for release sometime this year. The lead single, Pills n Potions, gave off the impression that her music had evolved to something more meaningful, classier even. Alas, judging by her latest offering Anaconda, we can disregard whatever notions of class that Miss Minaj has mustered so far this year.
See, the first minute or so is roughly bearable. Judging by the title and the revealing cover art itself, you could guess that the song is an ode to Minaj’s glorious butt. You’re right, of course. The song kicks off with the famous line from Sir Mix-a-lot’s Baby Got Back: “My anaconda don’t want none, unless you got buns, hun!” We’re instantly propelled back to the 90’s as Minaj raps over a backing track that very generously samples Sir Mix-a-lot’s famous hit. She’s dripping with swag and sultry as hell, her lazy voice sliding over the track. Lyrically speaking, it’s a typical Minaj hit – she brags about her boys, her swag, and her, um, assets. Honestly, it’s nothing we haven’t heard already – yes Nicki, you’re hot and everyone knows it.
Then it gets weird. In the track, Minaj does mention that she’s high from half a pill – but you’d never expect her to actually act like it. The first time she giggles it’s a flirty gesture; sexy even. Then she does it again and it’s rather manic – you begin to envision a crazy-eyed Minaj, high as a kite, cackling uncontrollably in a recording studio. It’s unattractive, slightly scary and in no way relates to the theme of the song. Props to Minaj, however, for writing a song that glorifies the fuller female figure. In a media that relies on stick figures to sell their products, Minaj goes against the current and provides an anthem specifically for girls with curves. You needn’t be tiny in order to look attractive, Minaj says. In fact, as she very bluntly puts it, “f**k those skinny b*tches at the club.”
The last minute consists entirely of snippets from Baby Got Back. It’s like a bad remix of the original – undoubtedly, the track’s hook will be a hit at parties. It’s a shame they repeat the line ‘oh my gosh, look at her butt!’ one too many times; eventually it becomes so infuriating, you’ll feel the pressing urge to, er, squeeze something. It doesn’t help either when Sir Mix-a-lot’s only line is repeatedly looped so that the track resembles a scratched record. Then a school bell rings with a final clang and the track, mercifully, comes to an abrupt end.
Sure, Minaj is able to sell the song. There’s no denying that she owns a beautiful bottom and a fiery attitude to match. One ought to admire such confidence which she possesses – not many female artists could pen the same song and get away with it. There’s nothing bad about the rap itself – it’s just the production that’s her downfall. Yes, it’s always fun to have a blast from the past, but you know you’ve overdone it when your track begins to sound like a Mix-a-lot rip-off. But that doesn’t matter, as long as it charts and everyone has a good time singing along. For Minaj, it’s yet another single to add to her long list of hit chart-toppers.