Single Review: “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj

She’s at it again! After the *official* release of Anaconda last week, I’m happy to say my confidence in Nicki Minaj has been restored. Some of you may have seen my previous review of the second single off the upcoming Pink Print album. If you did, you’ll know how happy I am to hear the intended version of Anaconda, as it is an entirely different song.

Much like “Stupid Hoe” leading up to Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Anaconda gives us a taste of Nicki’s playful side – something that not all rappers are able to pull off. Anaconda spent its debut week hovering around #2 and #3 on the iTunes charts and is still in the top 10. The upbeat single is a welcoming contrast to The Pink Print’s leading single, Pills N Potions, which I found a little slow and lacking depth.

While Anaconda probably won’t stimulate any personal growth or introspective reflection, its ingenious social media marketing campaign (executed mostly by Nicki herself) did shed some light on the double standard society holds for women and their bodies. Nicki’s nearly-naked rear adorns the single cover, and was met with some “outrage” as soccer moms took to their desktops to voice their concern. In response, Nicki posted photos excerpted from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition of models baring just as much booty as she, if not more. Whether or not it was intentional, Nicki Minaj successfully sparked a conversation about censorship, race and gender, complete with BuzzFeed and HuffPost articles across Facebook.

All that being said, I have to say that this is one of the cleverest hip-hop remixes, er, samples (?), that I’ve heard in a loooooong time. Sampling such an iconic song like “Baby Got Back” was definitely a bold move by Nicki and her production team – if it flopped there would be plenty of egg-on-face to go around – but then again, Ms. Minaj has never been afraid to shy away from bold choices… she does quite the opposite. In this case it has most definitely paid off for her. With a tasty sprinkling of nostalgia from Sir Mix-A-Lot, Anaconda is sure to make this a mainstream pop-crossover hit.

Grade:

90/97

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