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Single Review: Nicki Minaj – The Boys (feat. Cassie)

Photo: V Magazine

Out of nowhere last week, self proclaimed ‘punchline queen’ Nicki Minaj casually popped out some info about a new single. No big deal. But fans everywhere have been waiting anxiously to get a listen to ‘The Boys’, the first track from ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up’, the re-release of her latest record. Expectations are high, after all this track is beating ‘Whip It’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’ to single-status. That’s a pretty big deal, so it must be good right? Right.

Nicki is as fierce as usual. She really is on top form at the moment and her sinister insanity is just as divisive as usual – thankfully, I am rather fond of it. Only Minaj can get away with it, but there are a few expectantly crazy moments on the track – most notably, the purring in the second verse. Oh, Nicki. Cassie’s voice doesn’t quite standout until the incredible acoustic segment where her soft vocals really adds a new dimension to the track.

The acoustic breakdown is the most incredible thing here. The way the track switches from a banging beat-heavy foray into a chilled out, summery hook with such ease is unexpected, but magical. The rest of the track is not quite as instant though. The sing-a-long chant gets going toward the latter end of the tune and the raps are unique enough to be remembered, so the single should fare well once the radio stations eat it up.

I admit that ‘The Boys’ simply doesn’t feel like it will become as defining as ‘Starships’ and ‘Super Bass’ have; Minaj has set the standard very high for herself and I guess a few near misses are to be expected. A well above average song is something to savour, not for me to whinge about so I’ll tie it up my saying that ‘The Boys’ is an American pop anthem boasting a typical infectious Nicki Minaj hook, a rebellious and peculiar Nicki Minaj rap and will likely rake in Nicki Minaj millions.

Photo: V Magazine
Words: Simon McMurdo

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