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“Starships” by Nicki Minaj

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“Starships” by Nicki Minaj

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“Starships” by Nicki Minaj


song info

    “Starships” by Nicki Minaj (official video) is a rap dance song.

    Song Title: Starships (official video)
    Artist: Nicki Minaj
    Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
    Genre: dance, rap, pop, hip-hop, Eurodance, Europop, EDM
    Composer: Copyright © 2011 Onika Maraj, Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Wayne Hector
    Musical key: D Major
    Lead Vocals: Nicki Minaj
    Backing Vocals: Carl Falk, Wayne Hector, Mohombi
    Instruments: RedOne, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub
    Guitar: Carl Falk
    Other: Recording assistant: Jon Sher
    Director: Anthony Mandler
    Producer: RedOne, Rami Yacoub, Carl Falk
    Recording: Trevor Muzzy, Ariel Chobaz, Jon Sher (recording assistant)
    Recorded: 2011 at Kinglet Studios, Stockholm, Sweden, and Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, California, United States; Mixed at Conway Recording Studios
    Mixer: Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Trevor Muzzy
    Released: February 14, 2012
    Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
    Number of listens: 39576
    Current rank: 13 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 2 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Starships” is a song by American recording artist and songwriter Nicki Minaj, released as the lead single of her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). It was written by Minaj herself, along with Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Wayne Hector, while production was handled by RedOne, Yacoub and Falk. With the success of her previous studio album Pink Friday, Minaj along with Brian “Birdman” Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012. With this, “Starships” would have been released as the lead single. However, before this, Minaj released promotional singles from the album first. It was then announced that her song “Va Va Voom” would be released as the lead single, and just as the release date was near, it was scrapped in favor of “Starships”.

    “Starships” received generally favorable reviews from music critics, along with negative remarks, with many critics complimenting the songs composition and found it catchy. Critics also found the song’s production solid, however critics believed the song was unoriginal and didn’t find Minaj’s path towards pop music satisfying. However, commercially, the song is recognized as Minaj’s most successful charting single to date, peaking at number one in countries including Belgium (both Wallonia and Flanders), France, Germany, Hungary, Norway and the United Kingdom. The song has also peaked inside the top ten in more than 25 countries worldwide. The song also remains her most certified single to date. The song also made US Billboard history, debuting in the US top ten and then spending a total of 21 consecutive weeks in the top ten.

    Minaj has performed the song live in a number of appearances, and is the encore performance on the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour. The corresponding music video was shot Oahu Island, Hawaii. Directed by Anthony Mandler, the song features Nicki on a beach in a bikini, and near the end of the video, it shows her and a “party-esque” dancing to the song and performing. The music video was critically acclaimed from music critics, many praising the kaleidoscope effects in the video and the fun, carefree style. However, some critics noticed its postponed release, because the video for her single “Beez in the Trap” was released before “Starships” was. With all the success, the song has also sparked controversy surrounding a pulled live performance.

Background and composition

    Following the release and success of Minaj’s previous album, Pink Friday, Cash Money co-CEO, Brian “Birdman” Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012. In November 2011, Minaj announced on Twitter that the album would be released on February 14, 2012, but later in January 2012 she pushed the album to April 3, 2012. The album puts focus on the return of Roman Zolanski, one of Minaj’s alter egos that was first featured on her 2010 debut album, Pink Friday.

    “Starships” is a multi-genre song, which heavily utilizes Eurodance, Europop, and Euro house, while also incorporating other genres such as trance-rap, pop, dance, reggae, pop rock, hip hop, and electropop.

    After the chorus, there is a ’90s-influenced Eurodance breakdown, which some critics have compared to the likes of Europop groups 2 Unlimited and C+C Music Factory. During the final breakdown, a stadium football chant can be heard chanting the lead notes of the song. The background vocals on the chorus were considered extremely similar to Britney Spears’ 2011 single “Till the World Ends” by Scott Schettler of Popcrush. Jocelyn Vena of MTV also said that “it’s hard not to see Spears’ influence on the rapper/singer when listening to the song.” Billboard compared “Starships” to the work of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, other artists produced by RedOne. Musically, “Starships” is written in the key of D major and follows a moderate tempo of 125 beats per minute. Written in common time, the song follows a chord progression of D-A-G-Bm-F♯m-G. The song contains a brief sample of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as written by Jane Taylor.

Music video


    The “Starships” video was filmed on Oahu Island, Hawaii. It was a 3-day shoot, with filming beginning on March 13, 2012 and ending on March 15, 2012. The video was directed by Anthony Mandler with extensive post-VFX produced by Leah Harmony and executed by a team of artists at Culver City-based post production company KILT. In an interview with Capital FM, Minaj briefly commented on the video for “Starships”, calling it “very, very saucy” and her “best one yet”. The video premiered on April 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm on MTV. It serves as Minaj’s most successful single behind “Super Bass”. The music video was compared to reality TV star Heidi Montag’s video for her debut single “Higher” as soon as it was released.


    The video opens with a starship flying towards an island after being summoned by its local tribesmen. The island locals slowly awake as the craft passes overhead. The starship then beams a pink bikini-clad electric green-haired Minaj down onto the beach and she begins to sing. She is presumably being worshipped as a goddess as she is carried away through the jungle by the island locals wearing a pale pink bikini with strands hanging off the bottom and short green hair, which is also worn during some kaleidoscope effects and in one scene of her on the beach singing. Minaj is then seen dancing in the mountains wearing a white, pink and black bodysuit behind a glass box while some of the male islanders run up to her. The scene then shifts towards the volcano top at nighttime where Minaj is sitting on top of the box with some of the locals dancing around her. In the final scene, a blonde-haired Minaj, wearing a white fringed strapless bikini splattered with paint, is partying with the islanders. Intercut scenes show Minaj singing with kaleidoscope effects on her in the second outfit and some more kaleidoscope effects in the same outfit but under blacklights. It ends with her singing the last line while looking directly into the camera.

Reception and contest

    MTV’s John Mitchell criticized the video’s postponed release, finding it strange that the video for the album’s third single, “Beez in the Trap”, was released before that of “Starships”. On May 28, 2012, a “Starships” video campaign was announced on Minaj’s official website. It asked fans to record a video of themselves performing “Starships” by singing, dancing or with a musical instrument. Minaj will then select 5 winners. The winners will win tickets and passes to meet Minaj on the Pink Friday tour. The song won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in September 2012.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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    Julie: Great song!

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