Conventionality isn’t usually Nicki Minaj’s speed. The premier rapper of the decade, she has often lead album cycles with heavy-handed and left-field production to maintain her edge over her peers. After last year’s “Chun-Li” and its bouncy horns ushered in the underappreciated Queen, she returns with the dancehall of “MEGATRON,” supposedly the first taste of her upcoming fifth album. Borrowing its drum programming from Mr. Vegas’ “Head High,” the track has a distinct Jamaican riddim that’s as infectious as Minaj’s lyrics are braggadocios.
The song begins with the rapper mimicking the sound of gunfire — no doubt a signal that she’s coming for blood. Minaj proceeds to do what she does best, taking shots at her detractors and flaunting just how wealthy the best-selling female rapper of the century is; adopting the moniker Megatron — the villain of the Transformer franchise and a name she previously accepted on Future’s 2018 track “Transformer” — she namedrops designer brands and “keep[ing] it tight for zaddy.” Singing on the chorus and switching flows on the bridge, the song is her most vocally diverse single in years. More meant to get listeners dutty wining than busting caps, “MEGATRON” is a welcomed directional shift for the competition-obsessed Minaj.