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Nicki Minaj, “Did It On ‘Em” (Young Money) – Building bassline, hypnotic cowbell beat, almost irritating synth lines, and samples of a cocky man yelling about his wealth back up lyrics about what to do with a dick. Minaj is the baddest bitch in the game, and she’s not one for keeping secrets. Lesson learned: Assert femininity; have balls.
It’s the work of a craftsman, a perfectionist whose attention to detail is evident in each drum pattern, each orchestral arrangement, each background vocal. Musically, the songs, especially gems like “Gorgeous” (featuring Kid Cudi and Raekwon) and “Lost In The World” (featuring Bon Iver), are layered in ways that we don’t expect from rap music.