Nicki Minaj hasn't released a mixtape in four years, but even while sitting atop her Pink Friday empire, Nicki can't ignore the call of the streets — nor would she want to. The Young Money rap queen has repeatedly characterized last year's Re-Up album as a return to her rap roots and she proves it again with her new "Up in Flames" video.
Minaj released the new clip just a week after dropping her cinematic love story "High School." The video, which premiered on the popular rap site World Star Hip Hop on Tuesday (April 9), is marked by an array of motorcycle stunts and other imagery more typical of an underground MC than a pop princess.
Dressed in a black hoodie, Nicki starts off her performance standing by a fireplace. "Anyway, little n---a don't test the kid/ Even Maury Povich couldn't test the kid/ Even R. Kelly couldn't touch the kid/ And even with all your bars, you couldn't text the kid," she spits, putting extra emphasis on her wordplay.
Visually, "Up in Flames" stands in stark contrast to popular Minaj vids like "Superbass" or "Starships," and the rapper uses the creative shift to her advantage. Rather than have her Barbz marveling at the video's beauty, Nicki creates a dim and more serious vibe that forces you to pay closer attention to her rhymes.
During an interview with MTV News last week, Nicki argued that she was better than most of her male rap counterparts — and used "Up in Flames" as a prime example.
"If a dude was on a that song with me, everyone would've talked about it and they would [argue] 'who had the best verse,' but when I put a song out by myself," she began before stopping herself, clearly frustrated with hip-hop's double standard. "[It's] because men run the hip-hop game. Let's be honest, they're the [radio] program directors, they wanna be able to rap stuff and they're not gonna recite a female [verse]. They just feel funny and it is what it is."
What do you think of Nicki Minaj's "Up In Flames" video? Let us know in the comments!