Ahoy there earth-dwellers, remember the saying – you wait around for one Nicki Minaj video and three arrive at once after much delay and the fact the actual first single has been out for months? Not ringing any bells? Well let’s do a re-cap of the madcap Roman Reloaded videos as far (no, there are no caps from here on in). First there was the lyrically complex Stupid Hoe (‘You a stupid hoe, you you a stupid hoe’ – what a grand jest noble wench! Guffaw!) which featured a bit where she looked like Grace Jones, a bit where she looked like She Wolf Shakira and a bit where she did the Bad Romance bug eye thing, all of which I remembered after recovering in rehab from those recurring WOOP WOOP’s that poisoned my fragile little mind. Then there was Beez In The Trap which wasn’t the Saw meets David Attenborough Nature Documentary concept I had in mind but still managed to get hopelessly lodged in my brain in a fit of bum-wiggles and green wigs. So to the first proper single Starships and will this be the futuristic big-budget affair to exterminate all of 2012′s pitiful human offerings?
To the lyrics and clues they hold! Well she wants to go to beach-each, there’s some starships about (Trekkies rejoice), warning calls to ‘JUMP IN MA HOOP-DE-HOOP-DE-HOOP’ because she owns that and something about paying the rent so we can definitely expect a scene where Nicki has an angry conversation with the landlord. With all this in mind let’s get this checklist ready to roll: oooh beaches – check. Oooh a starship (but I was expecting a fleet) – half-check. Ok, no angry landlord as of yet but we’re only like a minute in… Ooooh Nicki Minaj in basically that pink dress (now a bikini) and that green wig from the Beez In The Trap video. Clearly that was the Starship Sleazy-Club/Strip-Joint she just got beamed from. Ok I lied before, I admit it – one more dose of caps and I’m done. This time some big Hawaiian dudes have seen their street cred plummet in the face of being forced into some pink bowler hat/skirt combos proving the supposed big budget was not spent in the costume department.
Right I don’t really know what i’m watching here if i’m honest. All I see is wiggling, major side-boob and bikinis struggling to restrain a slightly deranged/stunned looking Minaj. I’m gonna call that the I’M-SO-POP-NOW-YAAH! Grimace and it will rival the Nicki Minaj Blink of old in its apparent craziness. If Katy Perry’s California Gurls video was a dessert obsessed fat kid’s fantasy, this must be what… the softcore porno version of Lilo & Stitch? It’s all coming across a tad try hard but then this is Nicki’s first proper full on Pop video with a bigger budget – Pop here obviously equating to coming across as the Japanese cartoon blow-up doll version of Pamela Anderson in Baywatch.
Nice to see the foggy mountainous fields of TV show Lost getting another outing – Nicki hasn’t realised that those half naked islanders are running from the black smoke monster but ah well, her loss. Plus it’s suddenly looks very cold on this island judging by the clouds, blue tint and Nicki’s shivery dance moves. Should have packed a dress or, you know, some actual clothes love. Now I have to mention the whole acid-trip kaleidoscope effect that completely dominates this video and I imagine it has sprung from one of two places: either the production team stumbled across the video effects section on iMovie and got a bit carried away (‘Yeah, sure! They’ll totally get starships and aliens from being repeatedly spun around in motion-sickness-inducing neon’) or someone in camp Minaj noticed how successfully it was used in Jay Z & Kanye’s N***as in Paris video and thought ‘Hey we could be just as G but just give it a rainbow spin for the pop fans’. Now where in the Paris video it was done artistically and with flair, all the effects thrown about here make it a case of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink probably in an attempt to make up for a lack of actual concept.
Now I love this song (even if it is just an amalgamation of about twenty other recent pop hits) because it’s a great up-tempo banger but the video has gone about it all the wrong way taking frenetic to mean Colour! Colour! Breasts! Rotation! which actually stamps out some of the impact it had just in audio. Nicki Minaj also did a much better job in the Super Bass video because she works well in confinement eg. close ups for facial expressions, sandwiched in between dancers, small movements. Thinking that she can carry a whole five minute video off simply by throwing her half-naked into the waves and leaving her to writhe about doesn’t really cut it and she’s looks as uncomfortable as I feel about it. I hate the phrase but, compared to her previously more hip-hop/R&B orientated sound and video output, it does come across as ‘selling out’ to appeal to the mainstream audience and it’s sad to see Nicki losing what made her unique. Leave the kooky girly girl-ness to Perry, relinquish the manic surrealism to GaGa and return to the Starship Sleazy Club/Strip-Joint to debrief for your next mission Captain Barbz: the hunt for the missing Minaj.