Few rappers have been as successful in the past few years as Nicki Minaj, who has had numerous hit songs since she made her mainstream debut in 2010. Although she’s primarily a rapper, Minaj‘s hits have spanned several genres, including pop, EDM, and R&B. With that in mind, it’s shocking that she’s never had a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Here are the rapper’s biggest hits.
As a song, “Fefe” is a pretty by-the-numbers trap banger with a Minaj guest verse where she brags about her looks. As a business decision, it’s more upsetting. Minaj courted major controversy when she decided to collaborate with 6ix9ine, a rapper who has been accused of child sexual abuse among other crimes. Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, the song became one of the biggest songs in both 6ix9ine and Minaj’s careers, reaching the third postion on the charts.
The Britney Spears solo version of “Till the World Ends” is probably the version of the song that gets the most airplay today. However, the original version of the song was not the version that became a big hit. Shortly after the song’s release, Spears debuted a remix featuring a rap verse by Minaj and vocals by Kesha. The remix featured three of the biggest stars of the day and appropriately peaked at number-three. Minaj’s verse on the track, where she calls out a female adversary, has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the song but is memorable and interesting anyways.
Here’s another hit song that reached the third position on the charts and features three major female artists. “Bang Bang” is a collaboration between Minaj, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J that shows off Minaj’s amazing flow as well as the booming vocals of Grande and J. Although Minaj does not have as much of a presence on the song as the other two artists, the rapper shows off her versatility as she sounds perfectly at home on a beat that sounds more like old school jazz music then contemporary pop or rap. The song was so successful that it became the first in a long line of collaborations between Minaj and Grande.
Super Bass” was not the first hit Minaj song, but it was the song that established her as a force to be reckoned with on the pop charts. Here, she manages to combine all aspects of her personality – her aggression, her cutesiness, her sense of humor, and even a touch of her vulnerability during the bridge – into a stick of pop-rap dynamite. There are very few millennials that don’t know every word of the song’s chorus and there’s a good chance that “Super Bass” will go down as one of the most definitive hits of the 2010s, even if it only hit number three on the charts.
From the very beginning, Minaj has had a camp side. Here’s the song where she became more camp than she had ever been before, crafting one of the most cartoonish sex songs ever written. The world fell in love with the track’s self-conscious ridiculousness and it became Minaj’s biggest hit, although it only managed to reach the second position on the Billboard Hot 100.