“Beam Me Up Scotty” by Nicki Minaj Album Review

Fallon Dern

Nicki Minaj surprised her fans (known as the Barbs) with the re-release of her 2009 mixtape “Beam Me Up Scotty” May 14. The 23-song project has a one hour, 17 minute runtime and combines old hits with three new songs: “Seeing Green,” “Fractions” and “Crocodile Teeth (Remix).”

Minaj reunites with Lil Wayne and Drake on “Seeing Green,” which is built on samples from Heather Headley’s R&B track “In My Mind.” The former Young Money members open the album with bars about wealth, women and where they are now. This, alongside the criminally-witty “Fractions,” expound on Minaj’s growth as an artist.

Loyal Barb”Jayden Huang ’23 said that he has always been impressed with her lyricism and what she has done for women in rap music.

“Nicki said that, ‘When you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,’” Huang said. “A lot of other rappers can’t say that. While Nicki wasn’t the first female rapper, she’s written her own bars since the beginning and has had a hand in opening so many doors for the female rap industry.”

Much of Minaj’s older music discussed the difficulties of being underestimated and discredited by rappers. In particular, “Still I Rise” expresses her confusion with the amount of hate she received from other female musicians. “Every time a door opens for me that means you just got a better opportunity to do you,” she sings.

However, “Still I Rise” deviated from much of Minaj’s older music. While the redistribution of songs like these give newer fans insight into Minaj’s hard work and devotion to her craft, it would not be a Minaj mixtape without her confidence-boosting tracks. Barbs have been demanding for songs like “Kill Da DJ” and “B.A.B (Remix)” to go on streaming services, and proud Barb Camryn Williams ’22 said she is eager for their release.

“Her new surprise album meant so much to me,” Williams said. “I love how she gave us songs like ‘Itty Bitty Piggy’ and ‘B.A.B,’ which were fan-favorite songs that didn’t get an official release online.”

Minaj’s last album, “Queen,” dropped in 2018, prior to her marriage and pregnancy. Despite the hiatus, Williams said she keeps up with Minaj through social media and re-listening to music.

“I am a Barb because although Nicki’s career has been somewhat controversial at times, the one thing that never changes is her love and dedication to her fans,” Williams said. “When I was in sixth grade, I went to see her in concert. Throughout the show, she consistently showed appreciation to everyone in the arena and it made me feel a connection to her and her music.”

Huang said his loyalty to Minaj stems from his respect for her work ethic, confident energy and diversity in her musical styles. While her personal life and rise to stardom gained Huang’s respect, particularly her immigration to the US from Trinidad and Tobago at age 5, it is her lyricism that keeps him coming back for more.

“Her wordplay is top tier,” Huang said. “The way she uses double and triple entendres and literary devices in rap music is crazy. Her songs are just fun to hear, but better to really listen to and read into. I really don’t know who’s doing it like her, and I feel like I’m gonna make people angry when I say this, but, dare I say that Nicki Minaj is the Shakespeare of our time.”