Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” Lyrics Meaning

Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” is mainly about having the freedom to reach one’s full potential while disregarding other people’s expectations.

The singer talks about going to the beach, having a drink, and blowing off her money. She says all these in order to express how important it is to do what makes her feel happy. Clearly she isn’t moved by what others think but only concerned about how excited she is to do the things she loves.

Nicki throughout the song suggests her firm belief that everyone is entitled to do what they please regardless of societal standards. A perfect example is when she mentions being intimate with whoever one wants.

The chorus, which talks about starships, flights, and touching the sky, are representations of her realizing her full potential. She believes she’s a star and is meant to be because she aimed high and worked her way up. Now that she has reached this height, she suggests that it is expedient that she enjoys every moment of it.

Nicki, speaking to The Guardian has said that the song is about not limiting oneself to the judgments or expectations of people- a concept she really appreciates.

Lyrics of "Starships"

Writing and Production of “Starships”

“Starships” was composed by Nicki Minaj. She was assisted by multiple songwriters, comprising of the following:

  • Bilal Hajji
  • Rami Yacoub
  • Wayne Hector
  • RedOne
  • Carl Falk

The song’s production, on the other hand, was taken care of by three of the co-writers: Falk, Yacoub, and RedOne.

Release Date of “Starships”

Minaj released this tune as a single on February 14th, 2012. Actually she released it as the first single from her 2012 album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. This was her 2nd studio album.

Copyright infringement claims!

In 2013, a Chicago based singer, Clive Tanaka sued Minaj and her entire team for copyright infringement. The singer claimed that parts of his song, “Neu Chicago” had been illegally used on Minaj’s “Starships”. However, the court case was later dismissed.

Music Video

This track’s corresponding visual was filmed in Hawaii and it was directed by the veteran music video director, Anthony Mandler. The clip picked up an award in the category of Best Female Video at the 2012 edition of the MTV Video Music Awards.

“Starships” contain samples

“Starships” features samples of the famous 19th century English lullaby, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.

Sampled in other songs

Australian artist, Cody Simpson included samples of Nicki’s “Starships” in his song titled, “If You Left Him for Me”, which he released in 2013. That same year, music producer and filmmaker, Eric Thayne released “Titanium Starships”, which has samples of this single in it.

In 2015, Brazilian singer, MC Mayara sampled this tune in her track, named, “7 Pecados Capitais”.


Various cover versions of “Starships” have been released since the song emerged. One such notable covers is the 2012 version performed by American songstress, Madilyn Bailey.

English singer Conor Maynard and Canadian pop vocalist, Jess Moskaluke both released their individual versions of this song in 2012.

First Live Performance of “Starships”

The Trinidadian-American rapper’s first live performance of this single took place at the Amway Center in Florida on 26th February, 2012. That performance happened during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.

A true hit

“Starships” proved to be a global hit, ranking inside the top ten in more than 20 countries. In the United States, it ranked at #5 and on the UK Singles chart, the song peaked at #2.

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