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10 Best Nicki Minaj Songs

Even though Nicki Minaj just released her first proper record, 'Pink Friday,' a few months ago, her singles and collaborations have long circulated through the masses. The versatile rapper and songwriter has already begun to distance herself from the conventions of her genre, and is revered for her creative, witty hooks and experimental production, as well as being able to capture the voice and spirit behind a wide variety of narratives. Here, we take a look at the 10 best Nicki Minaj songs, as chosen by AOL Radio listeners.
'Roman's Revenge' Feat. Eminem
The single features Minaj's alter ego, Roman Zolanski, squaring off against Eminem's Slim Shady in a dark, aggressive world where both rappers' characters tear into violent, obscenity-laced tirades against each other. In the end, another of Minaj's characters, Martha Zolanski, pleads with the two to grow up, stop fighting, and wash out their mouths with soap. Much of the song is a layered reference to Minaj's ongoing feud with rapper 'Lil Kim.
'I Get Crazy' Feat. Lil Wayne
'I Get Crazy' is one of three singles Minaj collaborated with Wayne (who runs Young Money, the label Minaj is signed to) in 2009. Minaj drops a pair of verses on the single, which mostly feels as if the two rappers are good-naturedly trying to outdo each other's insanity with wild wordplay and one-liners. Minaj's lyrics find her in the Oval Office with the President and Wayne ends up in the hospital wearing a straight-jacket. All in good fun, of course.
Nicki Minaj I Get Crazy
'Up Out My Face'
Mariah Carey Feat. Nicki Minaj
Minaj wasn't originally a part of this single, a remix of a song off Mariah Carey's 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel' record, but producers wanted to sharpen the sound, and Carey, a fan of Minaj, invited her friend to work directly with her for a full day on her featured vocals. The opportunity also led to a video for the single, and while Carey and Minaj appeared together, critics generally agreed that Minaj stole the show.
'Raining Men'
Rihanna Feat. Nicki Minaj
On this complete deconstruction of the classic disco song, Minaj took center stage with a furious second verse. The song, as its title suggests, is a dismissive celebration about (at least for the two singers) navigating an endless parade of men, and Minaj welcomes the subject with a cold look at what exactly a woman like her could ever need from a wanting man. While the song received mixed reviews, Minaj and Rihanna were praised widely for their chemistry.
Kanye West Feat. Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Bon Iver
While Minaj was one of a handful of luminaries working on this single -- including Jay-Z and an improbable appearance by folkie Bon Iver -- she again stole the show with a wild, brilliant verse where she rapped about eating brains and rocking fangs. She also managed to brag about her success while further blurring the lines between Minaj and her alter egos. The song, the third single from West's acclaimed 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,' rose to No. 18 on Billboard's Top 100.
'Bottoms Up'
Trey Songz Feat. Nicki Minaj
This single, the lead single off Songz fourth studio record, 'Passion, Pain & Pleasure,' came about after Songz pleaded with Minaj to guest on the track. When she turned in a verse a few days later, Songz immediately declared his undying love for Minaj, saying her contribution was so good it was "just stupid." It was one of the first appearances by Minaj's alter ego, Roman Zolanski, and included several references and tributes to the late Anna Nicole Smith.
'Right Thru Me'
The second single of Minaj's 'Pink Friday' finds Minaj in new territory, both contemplating a real-life relationship and singing many of the lyrics. The lack of ego leaves lots of room for self-examination, with Minaj wondering-and occasionally marveling at-just how a lover can see straight through her. Minaj received considerable acclaim from critics for revealing her sensitive, doubt-riddled side. Minaj herself called the song "insightful" and "very, very personal."
'Your Love'
'Your Love' was Minaj's second standalone single and it needed to be a hit. Her first song, 'Massive Attack,' had such a poor showing that her label eventually dumped it from her debut album. She didn't need to worry: 'Your Love' hit the top spot on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs, making Minaj the first female solo artist to reach that spot since 2002. The tune, about a powerful young lover that captures her attention, showcased Minaj's versatility as both a rapper and singer.
'I Ain't Thru'
Keyshia Cole Feat. Nicki Minaj
The lead single from Cole's fourth record, 'Calling All Hearts,' is a gruff examination of an artist staying true to herself in the face of intense pressure for fame and control. Minaj commanded the second verse with a cocky dismissal of the "here today, gone tomorrow" brand of artists, saying in her lyrics, 'She a Saturday Night Live spoof' and 'Yeah, I took the spot she gone, poof'.
'Moment For Life' Feat. Drake
Minaj and Drake co-wrote the third single off 'Pink Friday,' with production work by T-Minus. The self-referential lyrics focus on a pair of troubled kids who spend their youth dreaming about becoming famous, and then realize that dream. To give the song the intended mood of reflectiveness and nostalgia, Minaj forgoes her typical manic delivery, as well as standard verse-chorus conventions, to create a memorable landscape of the complicated transition from childhood dream to adult success. 'Moment 4 Life' peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs list.
Filed under: Top 10 Lists, Hip-Hop

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