Because every new female rapper is pretty much required (or manipulated by the press) into dissing some other lady hip-hop star, “Gucci Gucci” phenom Kreayshawn has been making news for saying that “when it comes to inspiring young women, [Nicki Minaj’s] message is to be Barbie — to be plastic, to be fake, to all have blonde hair.” Now, a wonderful, just-released track by Minaj has me wondering whether she took the criticism to heart.
Although most of her music is highly stylized, and much of it feels impersonal, “Top of the World” seems to come straight from the heart. “I remember standing in the mirror/ Searchin’ for a winner but I didn’t see it in her/ Now I’m goin’ from a zero to a superhero,” Minaj begins, going on to tell us that, “This is for the little girls who say, ‘Nicki, you pretty.'” There are a lot of rags-to-riches songs out there, a ton of tracks about staying true to your roots, and a boatload of female empowerment anthems (hey, Beyoncé). “Top of the World” is all of these things, but what gets me about it is Minaj’s genuineness. Oh, and did I mention it’s catchy and ballsy and has miles of summer-jam potential?
Like many fans, I was critical of Pink Friday. I had loved her mixtapes and verses on other rappers’ tracks, but Minaj’s debut album felt disappointingly forced, overproduced, watered down, and impersonal. Still, I suspected our girl had something more inspiring up her sleeve. “Top of the World” is that song — so here’s hoping there’s more where that comes from.
[via The FADER]