Nicki Minaj's 'The Pink Print' Could Be Her Chance to Chart Higher as a Solo Artist Than as a Featured Artist
In case you haven't heard, Nicki Minaj, Usher and Pharell dropped "She Came to Give It to You", a truly misogynistic piece of work that couldn't be saved even by Minaj's quick rhymes. However, lyrics aside, the song was catchy, upbeat, and sure to be another surefire club hit thanks to the big names attached to it. However, "She Came to Give It to You" is just another song to add to the long list of singles on which Minaj is a featured artist. In fact, Minaj has been featured on more singles than she has released as a solo artist, which could be why there have been people all throughout her career who have doubted Minaj's ability to succeed as a solo female rapper.
Honestly, her detractors might have a point. Even though Minaj is one of the biggest names in rap and hip hop music right now, her numbers don't reflect that as much as you might think. Minaj has yet to have a single that was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 — as a featured artist or as a solo artist. Her first album, Pink Friday, debuted at number two on the charts before climbing to number one. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded debuted at number one. However, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded — The Re-Up debuted at number 107 before peaking at number 27 on the charts, likely because people were getting tired of buying essentially the same album three times just to get a few of additional songs.
Minaj's history as a featured artist helped her build the hype for her debut album, but she has been coasting on her own clear and obvious talent since Pink Friday came out in 2010. Where are the results? The following nine songs are Minaj's highest charting songs so far. Hopefully, they'll provide some answers as to whether or not Minaj has what it takes to finally debut at number one on the Billboard charts.
"Give Me All Your Luvin'" (2012)
Artist: Madonna and M.I.A.
Evaluation: Madonna released "Give Me All Your Luvin'" as the first single from MDNA to great commercial reviews. Minaj was vying with M.I.A. for attention on the track, but she was credited as being the reason "Give Me All Your Luvin'" was made the lead single.
"Dance (A$$)(Remix)" (2011)
Artist: Big Sean.
Evaluation: Leave it to Nicki Minaj to be featured on a song that has a chorus entirely made of the word "ass". The remix version featuring Minaj so far outshined the original to the point where, like "Ignition (Remix)", most people might not even know her version wasn't the original.
"Make Me Proud" (2011)
Evaluation: Any combination of Drake and Nicki Minaj is sure to do well and "Make Me Proud" was no exception. Minaj's verse on the Drake track is so good that she often performed it solo on her Pink Friday tours.
"Bottoms Up" (2010)
Artist: Trey Songz.
Evaluation: To be honest, "Bottoms Up" doesn't even feel like a real song until Nicki Minaj's verse comes on. Critics were particularly taken with Minaj's verse, which livened up the whole song to such a point that Trey Songz may as well have faded into the background of his own song.
Artist: Nicki Minaj.
Evaluation: "Starships" is one of the most bestselling singles of all time, so it's hilarious that it was widely criticized for marking Minaj's descent into the minefield of pop music. Say what you want about it, but Minaj knew how to work her market and it became her second highest charting song.
"Beauty and a Beat" (2012)
Artist: Justin Bieber.
Evaluation: Nicki Minaj co-wrote this song herself, but it received a lukewarm critical reception. Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj just aren't two artists that should ever go together musically, but you've got to admire them both for trying.
"Turn Me On" (2011)
Artist: David Guetta.
Evaluation: Admittedly, Minaj should get most of the credit for the song since she provided the vocals for it, but to open that can of worms would be an insult to Guetta and bands like Avicii. The song was well-received critically, even though Minaj was singing rather than rapping, as is her trademark.
"Super Bass" (2011)
Artist: Nicki Minaj.
Evaluation: If you don't know all the words to "Super Bass", then you're probably just lying about it. It's the highest charting song that Minaj has released to date and it's so ubiquitous that you can find videos of other celebrities singing or dancing to it on YouTube.
Artist: Young Money (Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Jae Millz) and Lloyd.
Evaluation: The highest-charting song with Minaj's name attached came out long before Pink Friday did. Back when Minaj was just one of many Young Money artists trying to make a name for themselves with the big leagues like Drake and Lil Wayne, "BedRock" was a showcase of all their talents that really paid off. All things considered, Minaj would probably see a number one hit if she combined the rap roots of "BedRock" with the pop influence of "Super Bass" (and "Starships"). Maybe that's what she has in store for us with The Pink Print. We'll just have to wait and see.