10 Best Nicki Minaj Songs

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10 Best Nicki Minaj Songs

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Nicki Minaj songs are events. Stars line up. Aliens and monsters crash the party. And through it all, Nicki Minaj remains center stage. She has shared airtime with just about every major player in hip-hop or pop--everyone not named Iggy Azalea. And who's to say that won't happen someday? Hey, Mayweather and Pacquiao eventually fought, didn't they?

In a relatively short period, Nicki went from a Myspace rapper to a household name. In honor of one of the Harajuku Barbie, here are the 10 best Nicki Minaj songs of all time.

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10. "Pound the Alarm"

© Young Money/Universal

Nicki Minaj was taking knives to boxes early in her career, before anyone could put her in one. Before naysayers could pigeonhole her as a straight spittin' MC, she was already toying around with pop experiments. The fist-pounding "Pound the Alarm" is a bonafide hit, which helped establish her as a pop rocket.

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9. "Lookin' Ass"

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This outlier from the second Young Money album has Nicki at her trash-talking best. Although Nicki spazzed on this track, her performance was overshadowed by a misguided promo art. To plug the song, Nicki Instagrammed an image which repurposed a famous Malcolm X photo--the one where he's peering out the window while wielding a large gun next to the song title. Nicki apologized and removed the photo from her Instagram.

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8. "I Am Your Leader"

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Joined by Rick Ross and Cam'ron, Nicki Minaj kicks braggart on this Roman Reloaded standout. In the equally entertaining video, Nicki rhymes in a bathtub while covered in bubbles. Rick Ross, meanwhile, is--apologies for the visual--shirtless.

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7. "Roman's Revenge"

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Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim. © Bryan Bedder/Dave Hogan/Getty

Delivered from the perspective of her alter ego Roman Zolanski, "Roman's Revenge" is an excoriation of Nicki's unnamed mudslinger ("Nicki, she just mad 'cause you took her spot"). Similarly, Eminem adopts his Slim Shady persona for the tirade. The combination is so fierce, so brutally hard-boiled that it practically chars the pot.

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6. "I Get Crazy"

Even before the platinum success, Nicki Minaj teased star potential on this early cut. "I Get Crazy," off the 2009 mixtape Beam Up Scotty, allowed Nicki to test her strength against an in-form Lil Wayne. She peppered the track with her spunky flow and big energy.

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5. "Your Love"

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Samir Hussein/Getty

In which Nicki flexes hip-pop flexibility on an Annie Lennox-inspired smash. It also marked a rare moment of vulnerability for her royal Barbness. She tells some lucky fella: "You're like a candy store and I'm a toddler/You got me wantin' more."

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4. "Beez in the Trap"

Nicki Minaj is no stranger to big beats, but she strips things down on "Beez in the Trap." The impossibly infectious hook does its job, as do the club-centric beat and Minaj's confident rhymes. 2 Chainz is cherry on top a radio-ready hit.

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3. "Moment 4 Life"

Magic happens when Nicki Minaj tones down her manic delivery. "Moment 4 Life" exemplifies this. Backed by a somber T-Minus beat and a dreamy Drake cameo, Nicki creates one of her best collaborative songs.

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2. "Monster"

"Pull up in the monster / Automobile gangster / With a bad b--ch that came from Sri Lanka / Yeah I’m in that Tonka, color of Willy Wonka / You could be the King but watch the Queen conquer"

OK, I'll confess: I disliked Nicki's turn on "Monster" the first time I heard it. I don't know what type of gargoyle she installed in my brain, but that verse grew on me over time. In fact, it's the most memorable part of "Monster," in hindsight. Which is saying a lot, considering that it also featured Rick Ross, Kanye West and Jay Z.

Oh, and "Monster" isn't technically Nicki Minaj's song but it might as well be.

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1. "Super Bass"

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"Super Bass" is undoubtedly one of the best Nicki Minaj songs. I like it because it's the classic feel-good pop smash. It's a multi-pronged anthem, even though it's not trying to be. "Super Bass" can light up any summer party, soundtrack a spring cookoff or spruce up a kettlebell session. Take your pick and go "boom, boom, boom, baby."