Nicki Minaj is known for a lot of things, but her animated rapping style, alter egos, accents, and versatility are what made her the icon she is today. She’s the first female artist to have 100 Billboard Hot 100 entries and has multiple awards and accolades to her name.
She’s the world’s biggest female rapper and one of the best-selling music artists of all time with over 100 million worldwide record sales. From the hardcore rap freestyles that got her noticed to the bubblegum pop hits, we’ll take a look at the 31 best Nicki Minaj songs of all time.
1. Super Bass
Super Bass was the song that helped Nicki Minaj make the leap from being a hip hop standout to a pop-culture icon. A massive crossover hit, the track had an infectious chorus and hook that turned her into a worldwide sensation and made her a household name. It was also the song that helped her transition away from hardcore hip hop to the dance-pop tracks she would produce later in her career.
The single was certified diamond by the RIAA and it peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video and the Billboard Award for Top Streaming Song (Video).
2. Beez in the Trap
Beez In The Trap was made by Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz for her 2012 album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. It was the third single chosen for release from the album, and one of the most successful songs to come from it. It has all the elements you want from a great hip hop track, retro-production style, a trap beat, and a dash of electro-hop.
It generally earned positive reviews from critics as a simple song that’s fun to listen to and vibe with. It peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 45 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It’s also a fun track to listen to on earbuds, as you’ll notice the beat switching from ear to ear.
3. Did it On’Em
Nicki Minaj’s sixth single chosen for release from Pink Friday not only stood up to the other releases, but it was also one of the album’s absolute best songs. It was a throwback track for her, drawing on the work she did on her early mixtapes with harsher beats and lyrics than the rest of the album. It eventually took the number three and number four spots on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs charts, respectively, while breaking the top 50 of the Hot 100.
Anaconda is one of those generational tracks that gets stuck in everyone’s heads, has a massive imprint on social media, and was just frankly a massive hit. Sampling Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back, the song is almost a diss track towards the misogynist views of that song, rapping from the perspective of the woman.
It was originally released on her 2014 album The Pinkprint and became her highest-charting single at the time when it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Overall, it was record-breaking, racking up one billion music video views as of 2021 and breaking the 24-hour streaming record on Vevo. It went on to win Best Hip-Hop Video at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards as well.
5. Itty Bitty Piggy
Before Nicki Minaj was the one of the biggest and most successful female artists alive, before the massive commercial successes, and before she was producing hit songs, there were her mixtapes. Itty Bitty Piggy comes from her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty and showcased how talented she actually was at rapping. In under four minutes, she piles up references to fairy tales, hot dogs, sitcoms, and Muslim salutations through numerous sets of 16 bars.
It was the track that really put her on the map, getting her noticed and leading to collaborations and link-ups with hip hop superstars that took her career to the next level. It’s Nicki Minaj in her truest form and easily one of her best songs of all time.
6. Feeling Myself
Feeling Myself was one of the most anticipated songs on Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint album in 2014. Featuring the legendary Beyoncé, it became the longest-charting non-single of any female artist on the Billboard Hot 100 by spending 20 weeks on the chart. Originally, it was supposed to be a remix of Flawless, but Beyoncé sent her a new version of the track, resulting in the Feeling Myself we know and love today.
7. Lookin Ass
Lookin Ass was a massively critical song from Nicki Minaj about how men tend to act around women. It was a bit of a turn for her in her career, seeing as her previous album had focused on pop music and this one brought her back to the rap game with style. It was eventually released as the third single to come from the Young Money: Rise Of An Empire album and was a decent chart success. It rose to number four on the Bubbling Under chart and made it to number 28 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
8. Moment 4 Life
Moment 4 Life saw Nicki Minaj team up with Drake for what would become the fourth single to be released from her debut studio album Pink Friday. It was a hip hop song that basically delved into the feeling of accomplishing something great and relishing the moment. It peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sat at the top of both the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, earning a Grammy Nomination for Best Rap Performance in the process.
Monster drew on the dark side of Kanye West—not the one we know about now—to include horror movie elements in a huge hip hop collaboration. He, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Bon Iver all teamed up for this one, becoming one of the best tracks of 2010. It debuted at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the music video wasn’t broadcasted by MTV due to the zombies, decapitations, and disturbing imagery it contained.
10. Truffle Butter
Truffle Butter was a weird Nicki Minaj song. Not because of the quality of the track, it was great, but because it was a bonus track on The Pinkprint instead of a single release. Nonetheless, teaming up with Lil Wayne and Drake was a smart plan, as the song peaked at number 14 on the Hot 100 and earned her a nomination for Best Rap Performance at the Grammy Awards in 2016.
Only was the third single released from The Pinkprint back in 2014 and was one of the best songs on the album. Another team-up of Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Drake, this time featuring Chris Brown, the track would rise to number 12 on the Hot 100 and took the top spot of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. That ranking made her the only female artist to have four or more number-ones on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Starships was the lead single for Nicki Minaj’s second studio album in 2012. It was a massive international hit that peaked within the top five of 15 different countries, debuting at number nine on the Hot 100 and spending 21 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of that chart. It’s her highest-certified single in the US, becoming six times platinum and one of the best-selling singles of all time.
13. Pound The Alarm
The fourth single of the same album saw Nicki Minaj release Pound The Alarm, a Eurodance song that was all about the carnivals and parties shown in the music video. It was a solid international hit, making it into the Top 10 in seven different countries. At home in the US, it peaked at number 15 on the Hot 100 and owned the top spot of the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
14. High School
The reissue of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up was a huge success for her and gave us bonus tracks to dig our teeth into. High School saw her and Lil Wayne team up for the third single release of the reissue. It would make it to number 64 on the Hot 100 and numbers 15 and 20 on the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, respectively.
15. Roman’s Revenge
Roman’s Revenge saw Nicki Minaj team up with Eminem for one of the promotional singles for her debut studio album. It imitated a famous feud between Slim Shady and Lil Kim, referencing both of the duos’ alter egos in the song. In the end, it gave the pair a top 25 track on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
16. Stupid Hoe
Stupid Hoe is probably one of the most infamous Nicki Minaj songs out there. Described as an anthem to her female haters, the track was likely a continuation of her feud with Lil Kim. It was a modest chart success, reaching the top 60 of both the Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. More than a commercial success, it brought attention to her and helped increase her fame.
17. Your Love
Your Love was Nicki Minaj’s debut single and can best be described as a rap ballad. It was a shift from the sound she brought on her mixtapes but was a good decision by her. It made it to number 14 on the Hot 100 and number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It quickly surpassed over one million sales, giving her one of her first platinum records.
18. Check It Out
Check It Out is one of the best examples of Nicki Minaj’s unique take on hip hop. It’s got plenty of electropop elements to it and was a decent chart success when you consider that it wasn’t released as a single from her debut studio album.
So, let’s not pretend that Nicki Minaj doesn’t have a unique body shape. Incidentally, it was the perfect representation of the Street Fighter character Chun-Li, and she ran with it. Chun-Li appeared on her fourth studio album Queen and served as the lead single of the album. It made it to the Top 10 of the Hot 100 and won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video, seeing the rapper cosplay as the video game character.
20. Bang Bang
Bang Bang saw Nicki Minaj appear on Jessie J and Ariana Grande’s albums for a standout pop hit. The song was a banger, eventually reaching number three on the Hot 100 after debuting at number six. It also debuted at number one on the UK Singles chart, giving her her first number-one single on that chart.
21. Pills N Potions
Pills N Potions gave Nicki Minaj another stellar lead single. She promoted it by performing it at the 2014 BET Awards and then saw it rise to number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 shortly afterward.
22. No Frauds
Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne have given us some of the best hip hop collabs of the 2010s. This one was a sprawling diss track that lasted nearly seven minutes and saw her go after Remy Ma. It debuted at number 14 on the Hot 100 but received a rather negative response from critics despite fans loving it.
23. Barbie Tingz
Barbie Tingz might be a bit of an obscure—if that’s possible for Nicki Minaj—track for her. It was a bonus track on the Target and Japanese exclusive versions of her fourth album in 2018. It was a big flexing anthem that charted fairly well, making it to the top 25 of the Hot 100 and number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
24. Here I Am
Here I Am was the second song Nicki Minaj recorded for her debut album and it simultaneously announced her presence to the world and gave her a platform to get some things off her chest. For her and her fans, it was one of the favorites on the album.
25. Catch Me
Catch Me was a bonus track that appeared on the deluxe versions of her debut album that you could only get in Japan or at Best Buy. Alongside Here I Am, it’s one of the prime examples of the Nicki Minaj who got noticed for her freestyle abilities—since according to her, the hook for both was a freestyle by her).
26. Win Again
Why are so many of Nicki Minaj’s bonus tracks some of her best songs? Anyway, Win Again was a bonus track on the deluxe version of The Pinkprint in 2014. It was originally previewed on Vine—for you youngsters, that’s TikTok but funny—and has a few lines that would find their way onto her later and more popular releases.
27. Come on a Cone
Roman’s Revenge and Stupid Hoe weren’t enough to slake Nicki Minaj’s thirst for revenge against Lil Kim. It drew on her roots as a hardcore hip hop artist but added electronic beats that played more into her later style. Come On A Cone saw some of the best live performances she ever did, becoming a chaotic, whirling ball of energy that owned the stage as she laid down the disses.
28. Roman Reloaded
Roman Reloaded was the partial—I guess?—title track of Nicki Minaj’s second studio album and was released as a promotional single for it. It saw her team up with Lil Wayne again to take jabs at Lil Kim for criticizing her as she came up but also disses NBA player Chris Bosh.
Full of references throughout her career, it discusses her role in Ice Age: Continental Drift, the Nicki Minaj Barbie doll, and even the Columbine High School massacre. Her return to hardcore rap met mediocre reception outside of her fan base though, barely charting the track on the Hot 100 and only seeing it get to number 57 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
29. Right Thru Me
Nicki Minaj’s second single chosen from her debut album was Right Through Me. It was talking about how a lover could see right through her and saw her in her element of rapping over electronic synths. It would rise to number three on the Hot Rap Songs chart and number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart while peaking at number 26 on the Hot 100.
30. I Am Your Leader
If you ever need a confidence boost because you’re feeling down after comparing yourself to another woman, you should listen to I Am Your Leader. It’s Nicki Minaj at her best, telling everyone just how great she is and how much better she is than all those other bitches.
The eighth and final single of Nicki Minaj’s debut album saw her team up with Rihanna to produce Fly. Mixing rap and R&B, the pair soared up to number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and landed a top 20 hit on the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and Mainstream Top 40 charts.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.