After a year of being the single most popular woman in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj is getting some competition from all sides in 2012. On her right are jealous industry perennials like Lil' Kim. On her left are blog-buzzed upstarts like Azealia Banks.
This might actually turn out good. Competition breeds innovation, I say -- just as long as the artists play it like a game and don't take it personally. Minaj's divisive recent single, "Stupid Hoe," sure sounds like she's playing a game... with all of us.
If the beef between Nicki and Lil' Kim is a schoolyard fight, this track is the equivalent of saying something senseless to bewilder and demoralize an opponent before the first strike. DJ Diamond Kuts' production resembles the high-tempo tracks on Dance Dance Revolution. The song's lyrics are at once offensive, repetitive and include dated references to Brangelina, Don Imus, Deepwater Horizon and Michael Jackson's passing. The one line that stands out as any good is the wordplay between Porsche and Arrested Development actress Portia de Rossi.
Nicki wants to test how incoherent and outlandish she can make a single and still have it appear in the Top 40. While most pop music stunts are tame and annoying, Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" is actually unpleasant. Instead of searching for shock in metal or electronic subgenres as I usually do, Nicki Minaj brought the shock to me.
Like the aforementioned dance games, this game is fun even if you lose.