HYPEBEAST via Republic Records/Umg Recordings Inc
One of the most charismatic and effortlessly charming celebrities of her era, hip hop artist Nicki Minaj has quickly become a Gen Z favorite. Without a doubt, the Queen of Rap is one of my personal favorite artists of any genre. Her highly quotable one-liners, electric voice and star-stopping presence are just some of the qualities I love and admire about her music.
When I heard news that Minaj re-released her 2009 mixtape “Beam Me Up Scotty” last week on Thursday, May 13, I was beyond excited to see what Minaj had in store for her fanbase, the “Barbz.” Minaj did not disappoint, and dropped three new tracks that are out of this world (pun intended).
I was only 5 years old when Minaj released the original, and many of her more recent fans were also quite young. For the first time, “Beam Me Up Scotty” is now available across all major music streaming platforms, allowing Minaj’s younger fans to have the chance to stream her old music and listen to it in a new way.
Overall, the mixtape contains 23 songs. While I could rave about the brilliance of Minaj’s 20 already released songs, Minaj’s three new tracks are really the stars of the mixtape. Here is my review of the three new tracks, ranked lowest to highest.
“Crocodile Teeth (with Skillibeng) ‒ Remix” ‒ 6/10.
“Crocodile Teeth” is a song by Skillibeng released in 2020. While “Crocodile Teeth” is in a rap style I don’t typically enjoy listening to, Minaj’s opening verse sets up this song well. She comes in strong with the bold line “First thing I’ma do when I pop out, is tell my ***** ‘Yo, make sure you got the Glock out’’ which doubles both as a flex about her fame but also refers to the sometimes violent encounters she has had because of it. But, even Minaj’s excellent verse could not save this song for me; Minaj’s talent was sadly overshadowed by Skillibeng’s repetitive, unoriginal and almost boring rap rhythms.
“Seeing Green (with Drake & Lil Wayne)” ‒ 9/10.
Immediately, I was pleasantly surprised with the electric opening of the song and of the mixtape. After Lil Wayne’s opening verse with the line “No cap, I’m on the capsules, I done relapsed, boo; But I been on my feet since Cinderella lost her glass shoe; That cash blue, but I’m still seein’ green”, I interpreted it to be about an interesting double meaning for the “seeing green” having to do with both money as well as the side effects of drug usage. Full of references to COVID-19, the song feels modern while incorporating classic Minaj elements of characteristically clever lyrics and entendres. Lil Wayne, Minaj and Drake all do an excellent job of playing to their strengths. This is a collaboration I see myself frequently revisiting.
“Fractions” ‒ 10/10.
“Fractions” has been on repeat ever since I first heard it. Minaj’s highly entertaining personality shines through in this track. While the whole song is a testament to her impressive lyricism, the line “head game slicker than little miss Gorilla Glue” (in reference to internet sensation Tessica “Gorilla Glue Girl” Brown) is now up there with one of my favorite Minaj lyrics. It is rare for music to make me laugh, but Minaj dropping this clever one-liner at the end of an already brilliant song put the cherry on top, and I couldn’t help but chuckle.