Keep Westword Free

Watch: Nicki Minaj's new "Starships" video, in which she turns into a sexy alien

See Also: Nicki Minaj's "Beez in the Trap" video plays into stereotypes and fails to entertainNicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" video takes aim at Gaga and other fellow pop starsPink Friday: Roman Reloaded, is a Minaj-à-trois of pop, dance and hip-hop

After months of waiting, Nicki Minaj finally beamed down from her spaceship and landed on Earth long enough to premiere the much-anticipated video to her international pop hit, "Starships." She released the video on Friday; it's already amassed more than 5.5 million views. And there's a reason for that. "Starships," the explosion of neon sexiness, is as interesting as it is meaningful. Look at it like this: "Starships," in all of its visual glory, is like symbolically watching Minaj's musical career unfold before our very eyes.

The video, much like the song, is also equally divided into sections: Minaj donning a green wig, a purple wig and a white wig. If you can look past the immediacy of Minaj's vibrant hair colors and breasts in full force -- Minaj is, after all, only ever wearing a swimsuit, wig and heels -- you'll also notice that there's a narrative arc here similar, to an extent, to the way in which Minaj was thrust upon the music world.

Think about it: Here are all of these tribal peoples, living simplistic and uninteresting lives. They lie around, waiting for someone to show up and turn their lives around. The same case could be made for Minaj and hip-hop. Before Minaj, artists had been resting on their laurels, playing it safe, not enjoying what they were doing and fans hard-pressed to enjoy it either. So along comes Nicki Minaj, seemingly out of the blue, much like her starship from the ocean, breathing new life into a tired scene and challenging what people expected from hip-hop artists.

So Minaj, like the alien she is in "Starships," delivers, and the locals take quickly to her charming ways. Sound familiar? Both of her albums hit the top spot on the Billboard 200, and she recently did two tracks on the new Madonna album, not to mention all of her hip-hop collaborations since signing with Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

Later scenes in the music video seemingly pick up where her previous hip-pop hit "Super Bass" left off, as her alien look quickly evolves into a tribal goddess one. With colors inverted, it's like watching "Super Bass" meets Britney Spears' "Til The World Ends" set atop a volcano. When paired with the volcanic explosions, those disjointed space-rave dance-breaks in "Starships" suddenly click.

And for a song -- and career, for that matter -- that now makes sense to legions of Nicki fans who had been scratching their head by the choice of single, when Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded has so many strong if not stronger tracks, we can say this: Beam her up, Scotty; her work here, at least for "Starships" anyway, is done.

What's Her Name: Just when you thought you couldn't get enough of Rihanna in movies -- her acting debut, "Battleship," is released in two weeks - it was announced by The Sun today that Rihanna has just landed a new role as the villain in the sixth installment of The Fast And The Furious. Whether this is a good or bad move when considering the singer's career, we're not sure. However, it's leading us to wonder: How does RiRi have so much time on her hands?

Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.