Expectations were certainly high for one of the biggest collaborations of 2014. Rap star Nicki Minaj teams up with R&B’s prized possession, Beyonce, for “Feeling Myself,” a cut-off Nicki’s last offering, The Pinkprint. Beyonce is certainly known for high profile collaborations, so this duet with Nicki did not really come as a surprise. However, Beyonce is recognized for high-quality material, which puts additional pressure on Nicki Minaj to live up to expectations.
Vocally, Nicki Minaj is refreshing in this song. Her rapping is crisp with words sang with utter clarity. She did not use the unnecessary energy she used in her previous hits. The song also let the singing talent of the rapper to show, which is good, because she really has to step up to the plate when singing next to Beyonce. On the other hand, it is a let down that Beyonce was underutilized in the track. While Beyonce’s part is distinctive, it is still such a disappointment not to hear much from her. For the most part, though, Beyonce’s R&B flavor made the song extra exciting as she provides a naturally sexy vibe to the song.
Nicki Minaj is not popular for good lyrics, and “Feeling Myself” is another testament to this shortcoming. The song is just an addition to the rapper’s roster of egotistical and brash songs. Saving grace of the song, nonetheless, is the manner in which Beyonce tackled her part. She turned the rather overly simplistic lyrics to a high degree of musical excellence. Beyonce’s verses are the easy standout in the entirety of the song.
Despite the lyrical shortcomings, “Feeling Myself” has a good sound. It is well produced, making the rap-urban-R & B hybrid hypnotic enough to dominate playlists. Though there is a silent wish that “Feeling Myself” should have been a Beyonce song with Nicki Minaj as the guest rapper. More so, the highlight of the song is the first minute, when Beyonce ravaged the song with the line “I stopped the world / carry on.” Other than that, there is a tendency for the song to be bland without the essential progression needed for the song to be appetizingly enthralling.
Beyonce is a well-rounded collaborator; thus, she was able to translate the song into a musical success. However, it feels as though Nicki Minaj is miscast in her own song. Eve – even Missy Elliott – could have sung the rap verses better. As the song plays, there is a throwback to the Eve and Gwen Stefani duet “Let Me Blow ‘Ya Mind.” Definitely, it says something about the song’s originality. It only goes to show that Nicki Minaj still has a long way to go to propel her in rap royalty status.