For her most recent hit, “Super Freaky Girl,” Queens rapper Nicki Minaj continues to use the same formula that catapulted her into the stratosphere of mainstream pop music eleven years ago with “Super Bass.” This is illustrative of the commercial music industry’s cyclical nature, the history of hip-hop sampling, and Minaj’s rather limited capacity to fully commit to her own artistic development.

The new song, which features a sample from Rick James’ “Super Freak,” joins Minaj’s previous four lead artist singles from this year—”We Go Up,” “We Have A Problem,” and the duet with Coi Leray, “Blick Blick”—as well as two Lil Baby duets, “Bussin” and “Do We Have A Problem?” You’re probably familiar with the topic: Minaj’s well-known physique and her boasted sexual skill. From the opps-focused bars of her earlier 2022 releases, it’s a change in direction, but one that plunges headfirst into the depths of reminiscence.

The song is conscious of the fact that it is light pop-rap material. This is a humorous tongue-in-cheek music, from the carefully constructed hook (which dominated TikTok for weeks prior to the song’s formal release) to Minaj’s exaggerated vocal inflections. Super Freaky Girl, hailed by many as the follow-up to 2014’s ground-breaking “Anaconda,” only piques our interest because of what it reminds us of, not because of what it truly is. Let’s look at the second verse of the song. After the reference to “Boss Ass Bitch” (“‘Cause, what the fuck? “), nothing really noteworthy or fascinating occurs.

It’s not Chanel, nigga, custom down, right? You know, what the fuck? This ain’t Burberry, custom brown”), but the flavor is exactly right. “Super Freaky Girl” strives to comfort rather than to shock. The song will surely rank among Minaj’s most forgettable songs after everything is said and done, regardless of the track’s probable economic success.

Sampling instantly recognizable megahits into danceable pop-rap tunes has been a reliable way to secure some commercial success in recent years (although the practice is decades-old), from City Girls (“Twerkulator”) to Jack Harlow (“First Class,” Minaj even uses a similar spelling scheme in her new track), to Saweetie (“My Type”). The bland and flimsy “Super Freaky Girl” fits exactly into that mold. It’s anticipated that the new Nicki Minaj song will serve as the official lead-in to her fifth studio album. “Super Freaky Girl” is set for a massive run thanks to her upcoming MTV Video Music Awards Vanguard accolade and performance. The song is ultimately her least exciting release of the year. Although it’s not quite a regression, it does feel like a desperate attempt to land a smash song with real staying power.