Nicki Minaj has been featured on a staggering 15 songs this year. From Katy Perry to Migos and Calvin Harris to Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki has jumped from rap to pop to gospel to EDM and to pseudo-dancehall in less than a year. Which of her verse are the best, we rank them below.
#5 Run Up
Lead Artist: Major Lazer
“Run Up” was one of the first guest verses Nicki delivered in 2017. With entertaining flow changes to timely references (Hillary Clinton) and a balance of singing and rapping, Nicki made what would’ve been a lackluster track, a standout one. Honorable mentions for the #5 spots include her verses on Gucci Mane’s “Make Love,” Tasha Cobbs-Leonard’s “I’m Getting Ready,” Calvin Harris’ “Skrt On Me,” and 2 Chainz’s “Realize.”
Lead Artist: Jason Derulo
There is a notorious misconception that when rappers feature on pop songs their verses will automatically be lackluster. Nicki disproved this notion with “Swalla.” Her verse makes an already extremely catchy song more hype the opening line alone makes her the highlight, “Bad gyal no swalla nuttin’, word to the Dalai Lama / He know I’m a fashion killa, word to John Galliano.” The song’s worldwide multiplatinum and diamond plaques say it all, the track is stellar.
#3 Rake It Up
Lead Artist: Yo Gotti
Album: I Still Am
So far her highest charting single this year, “Rake It Up,” is a prime example of how wordplay and delivery can truly make a song. Yes, Nicki rhymes China with itself four times, but every line has a different play on the word and each time the line is delivered more energy is brought to the song. “Rake It Up,” is pure fun and it feels authentic, the chemistry between Nicki and Gotti is nearly unmatchable and it shines through on the track.
#2 The Way Life Goes (Remix)
Lead Artist: Lil Uzi Vert
The highly anticipated remix to Uzi’s burgeoing mixtape hit, “The Way Life Goes (Remix)” is a throwback to Beam Me Up Scotty-era Nicki. Her flow here is as impeccable as it is infectious and the beat is something way different than her usual production but she rides it with ease. This is how you create organic hype for an album.
Lead Artist: Migos, Nicki Minaj, & Cardi B
Album: Culture II
Easily the best verse of the month of October, Nicki obliterated every other rapper on the track; that is to say, all four of them. Think of this as the 2017 version of “Monster.” You can’t mess with Nicki Minaj, her “MotorSport” verse reminds why she’s been running this game for a decade, and why she’s here to stay.