Whenever a new Nicki Minaj song comes out, it’s fun to guess which Nicki will show up: The sugar-sweet pop star of “Super Bass” and “Starships,” or the snarling rhyme-smith of “Monster” and “Beez in the Trap”?
With “The Boys,” the first new cut off the upcoming reissue Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up, Minaj comes as close as she ever has to blending her two identities. She goes hard in the verses over gunshot snare drums, throwing out some hyperactive accents and a “Blossom” reference for good measure, before giving way to Cassie (backed up by the guitar line from “Boyfriend”) on the singalong chorus. The result is catchy as hell, but with enough “credibility” (ugh, we know) that we don’t think even Hot 97 will have a problem with it. Maybe all it takes is for someone other than Nicki to sing the hook?
Also, we’re digging the “Technologic” shoutout on the bridge, but unless we’re mistaken there’s an even better random reference: Is Cassie quoting “Hey Soul Sister” for a second there?