Nicki Minaj denied fans the pleasure of hearing her perform the 2012 track during a recent performance.
Nicki Minaj has once again denounced her old hit “Starships” as she refuses to perform the song during a Miami Nightclub appearance. The prolific female rapper has had a plethora of hits over the course of her illustrious career. Some of which she has apparently grown to hate.
Minaj, who was booked for a performance at Miami’s E11EVEN on New Year’s Eve, doubled down on her reproach of her 2012 single “Starships” while fans watched dismayed. When her DJ began playing the popular track, Minaj started to rap the first few lines so fiercely that fans were actually surprised when she retreated. According to the rapper, she was only teasing as she announced that she no longer performs that song.
“Sike, sike, sike,” the rapper said as the audience moaned about it. “I don’t perform that song no more, y’all! I don’t like it! What y’all want me to do?”
Unfortunately, Nicki has a history of denouncing the 9x Platinum hit, which peaked at No. 5 on the coveted Billboard Hot 100 chart. Back in 2020, when Nicki was asked which of her songs she regrets while on a Q&A panel with Pollstar Live, the Caribbean native threw “Starships” under the bus along with her first solo Billboard entry, “Your Love” and her highest charting single before the 2020’s decade – “Anaconda.”
“So much of my discography,” Minaj said at the time about songs she regrets. “I wish I never recorded ‘Anaconda.’ I like the video but, ugh. My first ever solo song on Billboard was ‘Your Love.’ To this day I like the video but I hate the song. I could go on and on. I hate ‘Starships,’ I mean ew, ‘Starships?’ I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’ I really think that every time I hear it.”
“Starships” was also the source of some controversy and a longstanding rift between Nicki Minaj and New York’s Hot 97. Radio host Peter Rosenberg called the song “one of the most sellout songs in Hip Hop history,” while on stage at Summer Jam in 2012. This led to Minaj canceling her performance at the festival that day.
While the rapper and radio host ended up at odds for quite some time, they eventually reconciled the matter a year later when she made an appearance on Hot 97. According to Rosenberg, during an interview with Radiolab in 2014, he disliked the song for its standout pop style. “Starships is a blatant pop song so I didn’t like the song,” he explained at the time.
“In the moment it felt like, you’re a Hip Hop star, why would you do this? This is not for us. When core Hip Hop artists make pop songs it upsets me because it can be a moment that blurs and messes up Hip Hop,” the radio host added.
While it’s unclear if Minaj no longer likes the track for the same reason as elements of its pop sound can also be heard in her 2012 tracks “Va Va Voom” and “Pound the Alarm,” what is evident is that she is committed to her decision to permanently X the track from her setlist. As she vehemently declines to perform the track, one has to wonder if “Anaconda” or “Your Love” is next.
Fortunately, Nicki has a vast discography with a large number of records to choose from after nearly two decades in the game. Her most recent album Pink Friday 2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, crowning the New York superstar the female rapper with the most No. 1 albums ever. Of the album’s 22 tracks, 17 entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart, also making PF2 the female rap album with the highest number of songs to appear on the chart.