Friday, January 27th, 2012

Nicki Minaj – Stupid Hoe

We prefer our Nicki undiluted…


Kat Stevens: D:

Michaela Drapes: Nicki Minaj accurately portrays that moment that I fully believe happens at some point in every woman’s life, that moment that you really just want to get in some chick’s face and scream “YOU A STUPID HOE!” while having a dayglo-sick seizure of rage. I’m sorry, I’m not apologizing for this — I’ve been there. And any woman who says she hasn’t is lying. (There, I said it.) Also, extra one million points for excessive use of the entire Lime Crime makeup line and what’s probably some custom leather from Zana Bayne.

Sabina Tang: I wouldn’t normally derive this much hilarity from a woman calling another woman a stupid hoe for three minutes, but Nicki is so unabashedly, unrestrainedly absurdist here that one can’t picture her in a queen-bitch slap-down position, despite her own insistence. Jennifer’s the putative sweetheart, and Angelina’s too cool for school, but Nicki’s like that girl who showed up at the senior prom drunk, sporting pink hair and a bumblebee costume. She’s outside the power dichotomy, and thus one suspects her of truthmongering, whoever her abstract target happens to be. Plus, 1x bonus point for being “the highest single-video VEVO number in 24 hours EVER!” with a dislike-to-like ratio of 2:1. I’d like to think that has more to do with the ARGH NIGHTMARE FUEL EYES than the actual song, but no — this ain’t no “Super Bass.” And I’m more than fine with that.

Iain Mew: The video has actually done a great job in giving me more of a way into this. The rapid flashing of images and sharp intake of breath draws attention to the sheer force of the long held “woooooooouuuuuuuuuld” with frantic claps and whistles beneath, and the release of tension at its end. From an appreciation of that all of the other stuff started dropping into place and… well, it doesn’t all fit perfectly, but it’s a much more enjoyable mess than first impressions suggested.

Andy Hutchins: Speeding up and tweaking Diplo’s “Slight Work” beat and giving it to Nicki is a good enough theft that I’m not going to hold it against Diamond Kuts, the (female!) Philly DJ/producer who is responsible for “Stupid Hoe.” Nicki uses it to both abuse all of her more outlandish tropes (“I wish a bitch wouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuld”) and wink at them (“one, two, three, do the Nicki Minaj blink!”), and it’s all in service of a gender-bending Li’l Kim diss from Roman Zolanski that sounds best in the breakdown, which caroms from Nicki sing-songing to Nicki singing to verbal diarrhea to the entirely unnecessary “I am the female Weezy” clarification. No one else was aiming for that title, Nicki, and, besides, being Nicki Minaj should really be more than enough.

Zach Lyon: Time to make a mental bookmark for Diamond Kuts. Didn’t matter who was rapping over it; beat is unimpeachable. Nicki’s guns are blazing for a good minute or so, but it’s sort of sad to me that it’s still directed at Lil’ Kim. Also sad that every single woman in hip hop (and I say “single” because there’s only ever one at a time) aren’t taken seriously if they aren’t constantly referring to their diznicks. I really hope Nicki tries to be more than the female Weezy.

Jonathan Bradley: I’d get more out of T. Dunham’s wobbling, metallic beat if the Neptunes hadn’t used the same palette to less stilted effect eight years ago on Missy Elliott’s “On and On.” But Minaj is more dexterous than Missy ever was, and her elastic vocal chords do much to animate the instrumental. At times, the verve arrives in lyrical form — I enjoy the playful simplicity of “Who’s gassing this ho: BP?” — but more often, it’s in the plasticity of Nicki’s personae. The best part might be the self-parody of “one, two, three; do the Nicki Minaj blink,” but the fun doesn’t end there. It’s not every performer who could morph that “Stupid hoes is my enemy” nursery rhyme into a dancehall toast with just the faintest switch in vocal tone, and few others would think to follow that up with the exercise in silliness that is the sung final chorus. There, Minaj sounds like a bored kid teasing her little sister, not an MC gunning for the top title.

Jer Fairall: Minimalist weirdness of the circa 2001 Missy and Timbaland variety, an eleven year gulf Nicki bridges only via name checks of Brad Pitt’s then-and-now love interests. Nicki doesn’t need to identify herself as Angelina for that to be obvious, as she is clearly living in the right now, and while, sure, it is the right now of post-BP and post-MJ, it is also the right now of Nicki-the-Female-Weezy and Nicki at the Superbowl with Madonna. More important, though, it is the right now of a black female pop superstar adopting the alter ego of a gay male Übermensch and actually getting away with it. That’s enough, for me, to make right now and “Stupid Hoe,” no matter what else you can say about either, both feel pretty damn awesome.

Alfred Soto: If it did more than just echo T.I.’s “Bring Em Out,” I’d likely be this song’s most fervent supporter. But from its dated references (Angelina? Jennifer?) and slang (“diznick”?!) to rubberband vowels, it’s guaranteed to annoy, so much so that I wonder if in a complimentary mood I might laud it as the sort of Dada moment that enlivened M.I.A.’s ///Y/. So, yes, let me settle on this judgment then: a sound collage by an artist enraptured by performing, never more transported than when in the last third she affects a dancehall voice and reminds us she’s a stupid hoe herself.

Brad Shoup: Lil Kim? Jennifer Aniston? What’s next, shitting on Sassy C? Maybe caring about celebrities is a natural outgrowth of caring about musicians, but this practically screams “mixtape escapee”. The “stupid hoes is my enemy” dancehall/jump rope bit was kinda great; can I get a whole song with that? 

John Seroff: Here is what mostly wasted talent ultimately nets Nicki Minaj, the master of 1000 nasal voices, at her likely apex: juvenile, over caffeinated novelty rap, irritating and devoid of verve. She’s not just the Female Weezy; Nicki is the exemplar of the despicable Young Money aesthetic that mistakes laziness for non sequitur, speed for technique, success for talent, cynicism for swag. “Stupid”‘s postmodern lack of engagement drives me nuts, mostly because I really want to like both it and Nicki. High-velocity, repetitive, sloppy, pseudo-outsider nutball playground rhymes really push my pleasure buttons so I get the reference points but this shit is not bananas; Nicki does not got your money. What she’s got is music for seventh graders with social disorders to scream angrily at each other on the short bus. What I’ve got is a fading headache and Cloreen Baconskin on repeat to clean my palate of this artless, lifeless horseshit.

Jamieson Cox: I want to assign two different scores to “Stupid Hoe”: one corresponding to the song’s first 45 seconds, and another for the remainder. The former segment features Nicki firing on all cylinders, tossing out silly similes and chuckle-worthy disses in equal measure with the sort of hyperkinetic energy and flow that was so endearing on early cuts like “Itty Bitty Piggy.” (There’s some similarities between each track’s percussive backing melange, too.) But after that prolonged “would”, Nicki begins to overwhelm and detract from the proceedings with the sheer force of her personality. The multiple voices/personas are a cute novelty, but there’s not much substance behind them in “Stupid Hoe.” And as for that last line? There’s a world of difference between Wayne’s genuine, compelling strangeness and her contrived quirks on tracks like this. Show, don’t tell.

Alex Ostroff: If nothing else, “Stupid Hoe” is a sign that now that she’s conquered the charts, it’s time for Dear Old Nicki to make a reappearance: its clearest antecedent is Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape track “Itty Bitty Piggy.” The hyperactive yo-yo beat and whistles and endless handclaps and whooping are the best beat she’s had in ages — a hyperactive playground for Roman Zolanski to clamber over — and from the stretched out “wooooouuuuullllllld” to the jump-rope chant that leads us out of the track, there’s little here that disappoints. That the video proves Nicki was secretly an Animorph all along is a bonus. So why only an [8]? Because the Ben Aqua #jukewerk Remix exists.

4 Responses to “Nicki Minaj – Stupid Hoe”

  1. Oh, Alfred, you’re not keeping up with “Life & Style Weekly” these days, are you? In the celeb gossip substrata, Angelina/Jen is NEVER OLD NEWS. I mean, just scroll down and have a look at the tag cloud:

  2. “dayglo-sick seizure of rage” might be my favorite thing I have ever read here. then I get to the bottom and there’s an ANIMORPHS RERERENCE??? I love you all and am very sorry I was too busy falling asleep at like 8 last night to give this…an 8, I think? I don’t like observing gender patterns in such a small sampling but this one sort of makes it tempting.

  3. He may have stepped out in support of Jennifer Aniston’s new Lifetime original film, Five, in NYC on Sept. 26, but that didn’t stop Wyclef Jean from revealing that he’s still on Angelina Jolie’s side!

    “I’m definitely Team Jolie,” he told Life & Style at the premiere held at Skylight Soho. But, he didn’t dis Jen altogether. “I like her vibe, her personality, her energy, her honesty,” Wyclef tells Life & Style about the former Friends actress. “I’m just all about the pure, when people can just be themselves.”

  4. Isabel, your check is in the mail. <3