Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" takes aim at Gaga and other fellow pop stars
Forget Lil Kim. At this point in her career, Nicki Minaj's only enemy is herself and "Super Bass." That track, which catapulted Minaj into a mainstream as cross-genre artist and onto the iPods of Taylor Swift fans everywhere, will be her "Lose Yourself" -- the song that defines Minaj's career until she can replace it with, essentially, "Super Bass 2.0."
This is not for lack of trying, as Minaj seems determined to reconcile her harder past with her poppy present -- and make fans forget about the sheen of "Super Bass" and her guest spot on David Guetta's "Turn Me On" by releasing the official video for "Stupid Hoe."
"Stupid Hoe" is the anti-"Super Bass" in every sense. Remember when she released "Massive Attack"? Yeah, it's like that track -- grimy and gritty and fantastic, in ways the glossy, but equally great "Super Bass" is not.
On "Stupid Hoe," Minaj flings words off her tongue like she's waging a war. Her target, presumably, is Lil Kim (the video for "How Many Licks" in particular), but really her bouncing rhymes could be shot at any contemporary female pop star. Now that Minaj is in the same playing field as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, she could even be launching an assault on them, too -- and if the frantic video is any indication, Gaga's "Bad Romance" is one of the prime targets.
You can't help but notice the comparisons between "Stupid Hoe" and "Bad Romance." At points, Minaj's pink hair looks strikingly similar to Gaga's blonde locks in "Bad Romance," an Minaj's digitally-altered bug eyes look creepily similar, too.
"Bad Romance" is only the beginning, though. "Stupid Hoe" plays like a montage of other female videos strung together. The vibrant coloring at the beginning looks much like the beginning of Beyoncé's "Countdown." Seconds later, as Minaj is perched like a Barbie doll (a shout-out all her fans, her "Barbz"), her makeup looks strikingly similar to Kylie Minogue's in the "In My Arms" video. And don't miss the similarities between Minaj and her dancers and Eve and hers from the "Tambourine" video.
When Minaj cages her own inner Shakira-style leopard, a la "She Wolf," you can't miss the comparison. Later, she swaps the leopard look for a duck instead. With yellow lipstick and pink hair, she bears a striking resemblance to a Katy Perry phase that hasn't happened yet, as does the giant lollipop, which is straight out of Perry's Candyfornia in "California Gurls".
Luckily "Stupid Hoe" itself sounds unlike anything released by Perry, Minogue, Shakira or Gaga. If Lil Kim isn't shaken, these ladies might be. Too bad the same can't be said for the video, which hasn't fared well among YouTube viewers so far, with over 110,000 dislikes. And this comes after news that her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded has now been pushed two months, to an April release date.
She's An Animal: Perhaps the only notable contemporary pop star missing from Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" attack is Ke$ha, who won a peta2 Libby Award last week for being one of the most animal-friendly pop or hip-hop artists. When she's not brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, hanging out with Iggy Pop or recording what she has proclaimed to be her "rock and roll" album, Ke$ha is known for her friendship with animals. Whudda thunk it.
Absolutely Unnecessary: Will.i.am revamped "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" -- you know, that track he did with Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger -- and is calling it "Go Home." Take your own advice, man -- just for a year, at least.
Movers & Shakers: Adele's 21 sits at the top of the Billboard 200 now for its sixteenth week, tying the Titanic soundtrack. If she can keep it up for five more weeks, she'll set a new chart record, currently held by Whitney Houston's soundtrack for The Bodyguard at twenty weeks on top. Adele could do it, too. "Set Fire To The Rain," her third single from 21, moves up from number four to number two this week on the Billboard Hot 100. Its new popularity only helping to drive sales of 21.
Now if only sales of Rihanna's "We Found Love" would start to slide... yeah, right. Lower, LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" falls three spots to number five, and Katy Perry stays at number six for another week with "The One That Got Away," even though she released an acoustic version late last week. The biggest jumps this week come from Tyga, whose "Rack City" shot up from 23 to 8, and David Guetta, with "Turn Me On" going from 25 to 10.
Bodysuits and Dominoes: British pop star import Jessie J spent the second week at number one in the U.K. last week with her new single, "Domino." In the video, she dances around mostly in bodysuits or Stevie Nicks-esque tops in front of some funky backdrops. Expect to hear the track even more now in the States, as more and more Top 40 stations have begun to play "Domino" more frequently. Hey, better that than "Price Tag."
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.