Until the arrival of Cardi B in 2017 with her breakout hit ‘Bodak Yellow’, Nicki Minaj was the unchallenged and undisputed ‘Queen of Rap.’ With over a decade of dominance, Minaj (real name Onika Maraj) has a hefty discography full of exciting and unique material. However, Minaj has admitted that she is not a massive fan of some songs.
More specifically, the Queens emcee revealed that she hates her 2012 song ‘Starships.’ Produced by EDM legend RedOne who made hits such as ‘Poker Face’ by Lady GaGa and ‘On The Floor’ by Jeniffer Lopez, ‘Starships’ was released as the lead single for Minaj’s 2012 album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. However, it caused controversy as it was not considered a hip-hop track. Consequently, Minaj was regarded as a cultural traitor for some time.
The track was highly unpopular with hip-hop tastemakers, who dubbed the song as tacky and tasteless. The single was so hated and badly received that it prompted a long, intense beef between Maraj and a radio personality HOT97. The ‘Super Bass’ rapper always had pride in her music but was not graceful when established hip-hop figureheads began to critique her work. For Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Minaj sought to carry on down the pop-rap route that worked incredibly well for her 2010 debut album. However, the project was a little pop-heavy for many of her hip-hop audience, including radio host Peter Rosenberg who launched a scathing tirade directed at Nicki following ‘Starships’.
As a powerful voice in hip-hop, by 2012, Rosenberg was co-host of New York City’s most popular urban morning radio show, Ebro In The Morning. Furthermore, he had his own evening radio segment, Late With Peter Rosenberg, as well as his own YouTube series in partnership with Complex called The Process. This meant that he had multiple platforms to spread his views, and in 2012, one thing that he publicly declared his hatred for was Nicki Minaj’s new single, ‘Starships’. He did so on several occasions. Fans lashed out at Minaj for releasing what was dubbed a “techno-pop” record, and Rosenberg did not hold back in addressing Minaj. While hosting HOT97’s annual Summer Jam Festival, Rosenberg speaking to the crowd, proclaimed, “Before I get to the real hip-hop shit of the day, ’cause I see the real hip-hop heads sprinkled in her, I see ’em! I know there’s some chicks here waiting to sing ‘Starships’ I’m not talking to y’all right now FUCK THAT BULLLSHIT!”
At the time of its release, Nicki did not hold back in her response to the HOT97 host. However, over the years, Nicki has grown to hate the song as well. In a Q&A panel appearance with Pollstar Live, the lyricist spoke about her discography and how she has artistically grown since her sophomore project. Reflecting on some of her tracks, she stated, “I wish I never recorded ‘Anaconda.’ I like the video but ugh. My first ever solo song on Billboard was ‘Your Love.’ To this day, I like the video, but I hate the song. I could go on and on. I hate ‘Starships,’ I mean, ew, ‘Starships?’ I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’ I really think that every time I hear it.”
Nicki also spoke on how she hates ‘Your Love’, a single from her debut album. However, she unveiled that she released it as a result of a leak, disclosing, “I was not planning on putting the song out at all. But then I heard it one day; somebody told me it was online. And I was like, ‘No way, no way in the world that song is out!’ I went and listened to it and was really upset. It wasn’t mixed, it wasn’t finished, it wasn’t anything! I wasn’t gonna use it at all. But then radio started playing it.” There are many early Minaj tracks that are worthy of criticism, and the EDM detour that was her second body of work was somewhat dubious. However, it is evident that she knows this. You can watch the Pollstar interview in the video below.