“Super Bass” was a bonus track on Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday's deluxe edition, but it shouldn’t have been. It’s an obvious hit, much more potent than a majority of Pink Friday. Nicki and her team must have realized this after the fact, and they’re now making up for it with a wildly stylized video that looks like a comic book come to life. Pink Friday is short on memorable hooks, but “Super Bass” is an exception, with a “boom-da-boom” earworm layered on top of a deceptively busy beat (digital rain drops, pound-the-floor bass, breathy vocal punch-ins). Nicki’s world has always been colorful, but it’s never been this inviting, aka just what we needed before the weekend.
And let’s not forget to acknowledge Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, the two pop stars who most likely introduced a large faction of theirs fans to “Super Bass” with their YouTube cover videos.
Swift was clearly put on the spot by this annoying radio host (“T Swizzle! I LOVE IT!”), so you can feel her reluctance, like when you jokingly show your friend a new dance and they make you do it at a packed party. But she delivers two bars and pulls the self-deprecation card (“I just rapped a capella very badly”). It’s cool just to see Swift momentarily drop the near-robotic, always-in-awe thing she does.
I really like Gomez’s “rendition.” Granted, she raps along with the track and Swift was put on the spot, but still, there’s a sweet quality to her boldly confident display. The only small bummer? Her team editing out the “bad words” (I guess “he might sell coke” does not align with Gomez’s Disney persona).