Friday, July 13th, 2018

Nicki Minaj ft. Ariana Grande – Bed

Closing out Ariana Gran-Day with another Nicki duet, which, despite the lack of controversial sample, we didn’t like as much as the other.


Katherine St Asaph: After “Your Love,” “Fly,” “Pills N Potions,” and other drears, Nicki Minaj has finally released a good pop ballad. The beat isn’t another Maya Jane Coles sample like “Truffle Butter,” but it has the same nocturnal, subtly insinuating feel, a mood both artists know not to disturb. The hook creeps closer by the minute to Rihanna and Chris Brown’s execrable “Birthday Cake,” but honestly, I’m fine with that song getting supplanted. And unlike Minaj and Grande’s other collaboration, “Bed” has the benefit of not sampling an angry Tea Partier.

Julian Axelrod: For a song whose chorus probably cost more than most Americans’ homes, Ariana’s part barely registers for me. It’s not her fault; the hook is very 2018 Nicki, in that it sounds like a clever pun until you think about it for more than five seconds. There are pleasures to be found elsewhere, especially Nicki’s sidewinding flow (and sly “A Milli” drop) in the first verse. But she tends to flounder when she’s forced to carry a concept on her own song, and this is no exception. If you’re trying to make your single catchy, cocky and cute, at least try to hit one out of three.

Tobi Tella: After the triumphs of “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” this isn’t exactly a misfire, but something that feels uninspiring. It’s nice and sultry I guess, but the problem is it feels like there’s nothing else there. I have no idea why Nicki got Ariana for this hook, not very memorable and requiring almost no vocal talent. After the other disastrous Ariana/Nicki song recently, I’m suddenly not so excited for any more collaborations between the two.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Ariana sounds more at home here than the actual headliner, but I’m not sure if that’s much to her credit, considering how the chill-pop accoutrements here sound so threadbare and generic. Nicki at least shows some degree of charisma, but it sticks out like a sore thumb, perfectly good verses in search of a more fitting backdrop.

Ashley John: “Bed” is desperation, with a gut feeling that the extra moment of eye contact will convey your message properly, a practiced glance up through eyelashes in summer’s sticky heat. For all the misshapen molds Nicki has tried to force herself into for the past few years, this song sounds like the first in a while where she’s succeeds at taking a heat check of the moment and injecting herself believably, without giving up her own essence. Through her genre hopping, Nicki’s confidence in herself hasn’t wavered, but here it trickles through in a more physical way. “Bed” is a reminder that though Nicki may not be the front runner she once was, she can sure as hell keep pace with the rest of the pack. 

Vikram Joseph: As a sharp counterpoint to “The Light Is Coming”, Nicki and Ariana express their thirst as straightforwardly as possible here with a smooth, summery bop with a hooky, libidinous chorus. It’s an Aperol Spritz of a song, slight but enticing; maybe it wouldn’t slip down quite so well outside of the fuzzy warmth of mid-July, but context and timing are everything in music, and here it is right now.

Reader average: [3.66] (3 votes)

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3 Responses to “Nicki Minaj ft. Ariana Grande – Bed”

  1. The video for this is an abomination.

  2. aperol spritz is the simile of the week yall

  3. my favorite part of this is when nicki rhymes five with five like four times