“Fractions” by Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is an artist with so much clout that every namedrop she commits counts. So when she comes out with a new track, especially these days when her doing so has become more of a rarity, it isn’t so much about deciphering the meaning of the song. 

As a matter of fact all of her songs are fundamentally about the exact same subject, which is she being that b**ch. In other words, we already know beforehand that Minaj is going to present herself in a lofty manner. So then it becomes more about what she says on the side, as in what her influential-celebrity mind thinks of other famous people.

The Content of the Lyrics of “Fractions”

The track starts off by acknowledging the fact that Nicki has just recently become a wife and mother. It’s quite a success story actually, as we would venture to say that most-successful female rappers, indeed lady pop stars in general, don’t very often end up as such. 

But the reason the Queen is bringing this up is as a roundabout way of saying that now, unlike her wilder days past, she is just trying to chill. But yet and still there are people who are in “need [of a] bad guy” and as such won’t stop messing with her.

Namedrops

Then as far as the actual verse goes, it’s only appropriate that we begin our analysis with the aforementioned namedrops. And first off would be mention of “Joe” Biden and “Kamala” Harris who are respectively, as anyone familiar with American politics would know, President and Vice President of the United States. 

Joe Biden and Harris

Nicki doesn’t diss Amtrak Joe but rather uses his last name as a homophone for “biting”. And biting, as far as rap music is concerned, is an old-school way of accusing someone of copying your lyrics and/or style. 

And Minaj is not making that accusation towards anyone in particular but we can rather say, in her own braggadocious way, is acknowledging the influence she has particularly on the female aspect of hip-hop culture. Then as far as Kamala Harris is concerned, she’s just giving her a related “shoutout” in general.

Alex Rodriguez

The next namedrop comes in the form of “A-Rod”, aka Alex Rodriguez, one of the most-successful baseballers to every play the game. And what Nicki, being a master of wordplay, seems to have constructed is something like a metaphor whereas she used A-Rod to point to the game of baseball, which then points to the related terminology of being “safe”, which then points to the idea that “none of (these) b*t*hes” can actually hide from the Nickster. 

So basically, the A-Rod shoutout reads like a cleverly-concealed way of threatening opps and of course biters.

Tessica Brown

Lastly she gives a shoutout to “little miss Gorilla Glue”. For those who may have missed the tabloids, earlier in 2021 a lady from the ATL by the name of Tessica Brown dumbed out by applying a super-adhesive known a Gorilla Glue as a gel to style her hair. 

Doing so resulted in, shall we say, a medical emergency. And to make a long story short, after going viral of course, Tessica did require surgery to undo the process. Well anyway, her hair did look ‘slick’ when it was set, as Nicki implies. But the rapper’s reference of the internet celebrity is once again an indirect metaphor meant to lead back to one of her own attributes. And in this particular case, that would be Minaj’s exceptional sensual skills of the oral variety, which hip-hoppers also refer to as “head game”.

Just to note, Tessica Brown does not take kindly to be referred to as the “Gorilla Glue Girl”. However, she did not take offense to Minaj referring to her in such a manner and in response even expressed admiration for the rapper.

Subvert References

Then there are also a number of what can be deemed subvert references to other specific people. For instance, Nicki seems to diss other women who “want to be around (her)” and relatedly appears to lambast her own fans who may like her a bit too much – a relationship dynamic not totally unheard in the world of Barbz. 

There is also a line, at the beginning of the verse, where Minaj notes that “accusations” about her “on them blogs [are] all fictitious”. And whereas someone of her caliber is always going to deal with a certain degree of online gossip, one can’t help but to postulate that, all things considered, said line has something to do with a recent legal ordeal her husband, Kenneth Petty, has been going through. 

Nicki also drops a mention of “GameStop”, the videogame company that was at the middle of a serious stock-market controversy earlier this year, as well as somewhat of a product placement for “Lamborghini”. Also she closes it all out by referencing a Jay-Z classic, 1999’s “Jigga What, Jigga Who”.

What “Fractions” is all about

And as noted earlier, all of the above is ultimately meant to illustrate just how successful and powerful the vocalist is. In fact besides general bragging, the purpose of this track is obviously to serve as a diss and threats towards her opponents and other “b*t*hes” she may not like in general. 

In terms of such opps and imitators, it would not only be her musical peers but also overzealous fans and even rivals found on the streets. And what Nicki is relaying, as her titular sentiment, is her intent to take the lot and “line them up like fractions”. And whereas such is not necessarily the clearest analogy to decipher, all lyrics considered it would basically boil down to another way in which Minaj is touting her superiority over rivals.

Lyrics to "Fractions"

“Beam Me Up Scotty”

Perhaps being inspired by the recent efforts of Taylor Swift, 2021 has also witnessed Nicki Minaj get stricken by the re-release bug via the reissuance of a mixtape she originally dropped in 2009 entitled “Beam Me Up Scotty”. 

In fact she has done so under the same label that put out “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, that being Republic Records. 

The mixtape does not have a chart history (as of yet), but it was the last one Minaj released before segueing into actual studio full-lengths, the first being 2010’s “Pink Friday”, which established her as a rap star.

Also concerning the reissuance of “Beam Me Up Scotty”, the 2021 version features three brand-new tracks. One of them is “Fractions”, and the other two are “Crocodile Teeth” and “Seeing Green”. The latter is a collaboration with Minaj’s long-time homeys, Lil Wayne and Drake. 

In fact Lil Wayne’s own label, Young Money, is also a supporter of “Beam Me Up Scotty” as well as its former parent label, Birdman’s Cash Money Records.

Credits

Producers YM Beats and Tate Kobang produced “Fractions”. And Kobang, a hip-hop artist from Baltimore, also co-wrote the tune with Nicki Minaj, Norman Whitfield, Kendall Evin Taylor and Derrick Milano.

Nicki Minaj

As of the release of this track on 14 May 2021, Nicki Minaj is no longer a spring chicken in the rap game, being a healthy 38 years old. Also she got married in late 2019 and then gave birth for the first time about a year later. 

And as implied in the intro of Fractions, that explain why she hasn’t been dropping music as prolifically during the past couple of years as in times past. For instance, 2020 was the slowest year of her career thus far, in that the only released two songs, “Trollz” and “What That Speed Bout”, both of which are collaborations.

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