Though Nicki’s album was released in November 2010, “Super Bass” — which was produced by Kane Beatz and co-written by Ester Dean — didn’t emerge as a single until May. The decision to drop the track as the album’s seventh single was a no-brainer. After being prompted to request a song during a radio interview with Nashville’s 107.5, Taylor Swift answered, “Can I play album cuts?” She then began to explain to listeners how she had been listening to “Super Bass” on repeat, before Swift rapped lyrics to the song on air.
Nicki would go on to credit Swift with helping make the song popular and even performed it with the country star during an August concert at L.A.’s Staples Center. “Taylor Swift did her little interview about ’Super Bass,’ and [it] took off in the States with the people sort of knowing it,” Minaj said in an interview with L.A. radio station 102.7 KIIS-FM. “It’s just really uncanny how all that stuff happens,” she added. “We didn’t plan it like that.”
The Pink Friday bonus song from the album’s deluxe edition had all the right ingredients. There’s the bright and airy guitar intro, which eventually builds into a full pop affair complete with a knocking 808 and, of course, that patented bass drum. Lyrically, Nicki threw a shout-out to 1980s rap legend Slick Rick and threatened to slap a chick all in an effort to woo her drug-dealing crush. Typically, cheery-sounding pop hits aren’t so edgy, but the Harajuku Barbie has successfully elbowed her way into the spotlight alongside starlets like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift — and has done it her way.
“Super Bass” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the rap chart, but more than its chart positioning was the song’s impact. One YouTube search of “Super Bass” will uncover the VMA-winning video for the single, of course, but also thousands of covers from artists like Selena Gomez and Karmin with ?uestlove and various renditions from fans as well. Who can forget the pink princess Sophia Grace Brownlee’s cute performance vid which eventually clocked over 25 million views? The clip became so popular that in October, Ellen DeGeneres invited the young Sophia onto her television show and introduced her to Minaj, making one of the year’s most memorable television moments.
If you had a pulse in 2011, surely you felt that boom-ba-boom-boom bass!