While the tracks from Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint vary in sound and subject matter, the videos that go along with those singles are consistent in their use of color and eye-popping angles. (I'm looking at you, "Anaconda" music video.) Given her track record, the brand new music video for Minaj's "The Night Is Still Young" left me a bit underwhelmed.
To be fair, Minaj's signature penchant for color is on display everywhere, from her pink wig to the bejeweled pasties on her nude bodysuit. I don't underestimate the power double-stick tape played in keeping the singer's curves in place, but considering she set a Vevo record for the most views in 24 hours, my expectations for a visually stimulating video are very high — and Minaj let me down.
Seeing as said Vevo record was recently bested by Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video, I took a look at some of the videos released by Minaj's peers that she could have emulated with "The Night Is Still Young." From T. Swift's own "I Knew You Were Trouble" to Miley Cyrus' ground-breaking "We Can't Stop" to Beyoncé's sultry "7/11," I hope Minaj takes a few notes, and wows me with her next video.
Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble"
While the premise of Swift's edgy "I Knew You Were Trouble" video isn't exactly a celebration, it experimented with a longer, more narrative plot. From the singer's voiceover to the party-filled flashbacks, this visual totally captured living in the moment. The takeaway here is that Minaj stepping out of her box and attempting to tell a stronger story could have left viewers much more impressed.
Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop"
Cyrus solidified her status as a bonafide superstar with "We Can't Stop." Not only was the sound a more mature departure from her Disney days, but the video was the world's first introduction to the singer's Bangerz-era image. We also learned that no one throws a party (in the U.S.A.) quite like Ms. Cyrus, as demonstrated in this video. Seize the day? Check.
One Direction's "Midnight Memories"
The title of One Direction's "Midnight Memories" pretty much says it all. It's the ultimate anthem for staying "up all night" (sorry, couldn't resist), and the video shows that the guys are always down for a good time. While I don't hate the idea of Minaj racing around on a scooter with some senior citizens, the real lesson to be learned here is that playing around with quirky concepts can pay off big-time.
Katy Perry's "Firework"
Minaj's "The Night Is Still Young" video definitely bears some parallels to Perry's "Firework" visual. However, Perry's video lit up the night and stirred a little something in viewers, where Minaj tends to fall a little flat. I think the key here is that Perry pushed the boundaries on the shots of herself. (Sorry, Minaj. A pyrotechnic bra trumps rhinestone pasties.)
Not every video needs to be a big-budget, larger than life production. Take Beyoncé's "7/11," for example, which shows the singer working it around her hotel room. It had the feel of a home movie, letting Queen Bey's killer dance moves (and that Kale sweatshirt) steal the show. As far as the whole "seize the day" theme goes, Beyoncé is on point by rocking out with her BFFs.
Justin Bieber's "Beauty and a Beat"
Okay, Minaj. No excuses. The singer was on-set for JB's "Beauty and a Beat" video, which means she shouldn't overlook its highlights. By no means should Minaj repeat herself, but I love the party aspect of this visual. It's non-stop action in a series of streamlined shots. The result is an effortless rager that is clearly well-choreographed.
Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"
The best way to avoid cliches is to be 100 percent innovative. Lady Gaga achieved that, and so much more, with her iconic "Bad Romance" video. The visual created new dance moves, showcased some of Mother Monster's boldest looks and gave fans a masterpiece. Perhaps the boldest move Minaj could have tried with "The Night Is Still Young" was to toss aside all expected concepts, and construct an entirely new world where the night is always young.
Check out Minaj's "The Night Is Still Young" video below.