By Kathy Iandoli
Nicki Minaj has already planted her Giuseppe Zanotti heels firmly into hip-hop well prior to her just-announced VMA pre-show performance. From her Young Money godfather, Lil Wayne, to Jay-Z, Kanye West, Usher, Ludacris and Trey Songz, she’s chopped it up — and in some cases stolen the spotlight — from some of the hottest MCs in the game.
From razor-sharp lyrics to personality switches within a bar, it seems as though there is nothing Nicki can’t do, even on someone else’s track.
Hit the jump for Nicki’s top collabos …
10. “All I Do Is Win” Remix With DJ Khaled
Like most DJ Khaled tracks, there are about 30 heads present on the remix of ’All I Do Is Win,” including Fabolous, Rick Ross, and Busta Rhymes. When Nicki checks in, she hits us with her Nicktionary, saving the top superlatives for herself. “I told Khaled you the best, but I’m the bestest. Better run for cover if your name is on my checklist.”
9. “Lil Freak” With Usher
Nicki uses gender-bending tactics on her verse for this slippery track, acting like the bait to lure women to Usher. She’s even seducing a woman in the video who seems a little defiant, and Nicki starts giving her the crazy eyes until the girl concedes. While the entire verse is pretty graphic – including naming Cassie as her next prey – she wraps it up pretty comically, exclaiming, “Everybody loves Raymond!”
8. “Up All Night” With Drake
The Young Money Prince and Princess have collaborated on some other YM projects, this track was the collaboration fans were waiting for. Nicki’s big pause in her verse “Wait … wait … fixate” had her follow with the ever so confident, “Which bitch you know made a million off a mixtape?” She’s right, you know. Two million-dollar mixtape winners on one track.
7. “Roger That” with Young Money
While Nicki’s contributions to the Young Money compilation were big (“Bedrock” being one of them), “Roger That” had the most impact. “Roger That” was not only a song, but it became Nicki’s catchphrase for a while. Tyga did his thing on this track, too, but Nicki’s verse just flowed so smoothly with her colorful opener, “I’m in the collard green Six cornbread in the guts. Got the Halloween kicks, trick or treatin’ the clutch.”
6. “Bottoms Up” With Trey Songz
Nicki can grab a pile of words and turn them into something cool … like magnetic poetry. That’s exactly what she did on Songz’ single “Bottoms Up,” where Nicki spirals off into a tangent sending a nod to the late Anna Nicole Smith in the midst of constant wordplay with no time to breathe. Trey Songz may be Mr. Steal Your Girl, but Nicki is definitely Miss Steal the Show on this track.
Hit the jump to see what songs rounded out our top 5…
5. “Hello, Good Morning” With Diddy, Dirty Money and Rick Ross
Diddy already had a hit on his hands with “Hello, Good Morning,” but made the best decision possible to get Nicki Minaj on the remix. Nicki blast into her verse with just a simple grunt to let you know she was ready to go. In the video she dons blue hair and opens her bars with, “I came up in it a little bit self-centered, but did I kill a Queen or Alexander McQueen?” Sounds like a subtle jab, but who’s counting? This track did nothing to kill the rumors that Diddy was rebuilding his empire with Dirty Money, Rick Ross and Nicki.
4. “Monster” With Kanye West, Rick Ross and Jay-Z
Most recently, Nicki grabbed the reins on Kanye West’s latest “Monster,” with Jay-Z and Rick Ross. Nicki added about 10 other people to the track with her personalities, starting with her patois-infused opener and ending sounding like an actual monster. “You can be the king, but watch the queen conquer,” she yelled on the otherwise all-male track. Nicki took another shot into the air with the line, “So let me get this straight, wait, I’m the rookie? But my features and my shows’ 10 times your pay?” Her money’s so tall that her Barbies have to climb it.
3. “My Chick Bad” With Ludacris
When Ludacris decided to make a Battle of the Sexes album, he opted to pair his verses with female MCs. That might have been a mistake, because on this track we all know who won that battle. Nicki turns the track and the video into a horror film, comparing herself to Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees and looking like a complete mental patient. The remix of this track was good, but nothing beats the original. Besides, how many times today have you said, “it’s going down … basement”? Admit it.
2. “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy” with Robin Thicke
At the suggestion of Jay-Z himself, Robin Thicke recruited Nicki for his hit single “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy.” Robin Thicke brought the track to Hot 107.9 in Atlanta during his radio tour. When the video of that interview went viral, he had no choice but to release it immediately. The track inspired even Michelle Trachtenberg, who released a video of her driving through the Holland Tunnel into New York City rapping Nicki’s verse while James Van Der Beek filmed it. Punchy line: “You were sleepin’ on me thinkin’ it was slumber time/ Now I’m a trending topic, little mama number sign/ Wanna play? Meet me at the fumble line/ ’Cause I’m a ninja … cowabunga time.”
1. “2009 BET Awards Cypher” With Joe Budden, Crown Royal and Buckshot
Nicki stood in the middle of Buckshot, Joe Budden and Crown Royal with her gigantic Barbie choker and tore open that cypher like a can of worms. “I’m onstage, you can sit in the crowd/ I be up in learjets, make a left at the cloud,” she rhymed and sealed it with a giggle. Her freestyle was untouchable, complete with a cigarette prop (“She gets no burn … No Smoking sign”). While everyone wanted to be so tough and serious, Nicki made it fun again, much like what she’s doing for hip-hop right now.
What is your favorite Nicki Minaj collabo? Take our poll and let us know, or leave it in the comments!