Does Nicki Minaj’s ‘Massive’ First Single Work?

These days, Nicki Minaj has been an unavoidable force in the music scene. Whether she’s anchoring the playful Young Money track “Roger That” or stealing Usher’s shine on the sexy “Little Freak,” the buzz for Minaj’s upcoming debut is at a fever pitch. Which brings us to the quirky rapper’s first official single, “Massive Attack.”

The aggressive jungle beat track, produced by Sean Garrett, is certainly a curve pitch. Sure, there’s Nicki’s usual over-the-top delivery and witty lyricism exhibited on such lines as, “You know I got the ammo, that’s why I bullet proof the Lambo/In the Middle East on a camel…” But the sparse, chest-beating song, which Nicki recently shot a video for featuring model and in-demand party host Amber Rose, may be too left field for the rapper’s Barbie contingent. A more upbeat, energetic sound seems like the route Nicki should have taken.—Keith Murphy