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After a long hiatus (dubbed a “retirement”), Nicki Minaj hopped on Meghan Trainor’s new single, “Nice to Meet Ya,” released Jan. 31. Unfortunately, not even the self-styled “Queen of Rap”’s contributions could salvage this unimpressive pop single. Trainor’s signature sound is repetitive pop, marked by repeated phrases establishing its fundamental structure. Some of Trainor’s most popular singles, “All About That Bass” and “No,” are prime examples of this heavy reliance on repetition, and her latest single does not deviate from that sound: “Nice to Meet Ya” is yet another, tired iteration of the same style.
In this case, she opts for a whispered “Nice to Meet Ya” as her main hook. The overall boppy beat in the background of the hook seems to suggest that she is going for a sultry vibe with these whispers, yet she only achieves a somewhat unsettling tone. As the song progresses into the verse, she finally gives listeners some melodic material to work with, but it is painfully predictable. The autotune overlaying Trainor’s vocals adds artificial texture to the verses, and those combined with a synth build-up produce an EDM-like sound leading into the chorus.
The chorus is perhaps the only section of intrigue within the entire single, with its vocal chromaticism and rhythmic brass filling out the upper arrangement. Just as the song begins to compel a substantial head bob, the post-chorus arrives with another round of Trainor’s manic whispering, followed by a brief break for a rap verse. Nicki Minaj’s verse simply gets the job done; it is right in line with her features on similarly formulaic pop songs Little Mix’s “Woman Like Me” and Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish.” Nicki raps over a rather dry beat — lacking any real sense of deliberateness — and falls back on her favorite bars about being “the billy,” a reference to being a billy goat or the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.), and the “champ.” These are not terrible qualities for a rap to have, but they are neither interesting nor inspiring.
The actual lyrical substance of “Nice to Meet Ya” is moderately commendable. Trainor encourages women to navigate life with confidence and ignore the critics (“Go ahead and tell them whatever you heard / I look different on the surface / You know ain't nobody perfect”). She continues to motivate listeners to accept themselves for who they are with lines like “I don't know you, but I'm just what I wanna be.” This type of uplifting rhetoric has become a staple in both Trainor’s songs and her overall message as an artist.
Despite its positive messaging, “Nice to Meet Ya” is good for a listen or two but hardly memorable. Nicki Minaj’s feature is little more than a nice reminder that she can still pump out her standard rap verse for another pop single. But overall, the biggest takeaway from “Nice to Meet Ya” is that whispered greetings will never not be disturbing.
—Staff Writer Chibuike K. Uwakwe can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @chibbyu.
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