Say what you want about Nicki Minaj’s chaotic behavior lately, there’s simply no denying that her new song “Super Freaky Girl” is a hit. It was also a hit that she needed to return to her era of solo chart dominance after a string of collaborative Hot 100 bids failed to connect with an audience outside of her faithful Barbz. But now, she’s got a new No. 1 under her belt and is making waves in the mainstream in a way she hasn’t been able to for a while.
In a new interview with Jada Pinkett Smith, she talks about how the lighthearted song helped her tap back into the fun persona that made her such a fixture in hip-hop not so long ago. She admits, “When I was pregnant I couldn’t even record certain songs. That body was very uncomfortable for me, number one. And then you have the baby, and your body’s going through all these changes and mentally you’re going through it. It was difficult for me to write on the whole.”
However, when she got the concept for “Super Freaky Girl,” she says “I didn’t approach it in a sexual way, I approached it in a fun way, it’s like I tapped back into who I was. People might not get this from me, but I was never trying to be sexy, I always was laughing. I think that I can look sexy, but I don’t think of myself as a person that is—you know how some women walk into the room and they’re just like, ‘Ooh.’ I’m not like that.”
She explains that because the song was so goofy-sounding, it freed her from a need to live up to that sexy image. “After a few years I had forgotten who I was because I was only reading who people were saying I was. And then it dawned on me like, ‘Wait a minute. When you were saying your sexually explicit lyrics before, Onika, you weren’t trying to be serious. You weren’t trying to turn people on. You were trying to be funny and goofy and stupid. Like, just tap back into you.’ You know? And so that’s how I approached ‘Super Freaky Girl.’”
That approach has paid off, even if its success has been getting overshadowed by nonsensical Twitter beef. Let’s hope that Nicki can remember to keep that same energy, while maybe toning down the antics as she gets closer to releasing a new album.