I don't know why I find it so hard to believe that this new single “Only” is the first time Drake and Lil Wayne have been on a track together for a Nicki Minaj song. I'm also finding it (slightly less) hard to believe that single isn't all that great.
Devoting about a third of its running time is Nick Minaj asserting she hasn't “f*cked” the Young Money founder and one of its biggest signees; and Drake and Lil Wayne over on their verses going “yeah, uh huh.” Of course, the guys need maintain that, given the chance, they'd be the MC's squeeze, or as Drake delicately puts it, “I never f*cked Nicki cause she got a man / But when that's over then I'm first in line.”
I get it. This combo — which includes a deliberate, meandering hook from Chris Brown — needs a little loping “hot for Nicki” fanfare, particularly for a track specifically for her “Pinkprint.” Wayne's next “Carter” album has been MIA, Drake's apparently just dropping tracks for funsies on the weekend, and Minaj's “Pinkprint” release date just got shoved back by two weeks.
So don't you want something that rocks out the gate? Minaj needs that bluster, a big hit, to light “Pinkprint” on fire, and you just know your single's in trouble when the hottest verse on the track is from Weezy in marble mouth mode. Drake maybe got the giggles on his turn because he knew he could spend half of it talking about that one time he was on that one music video shoot for “Anaconda” (lest ye forget), and tack on an ode to thick girls. Minaj's pun game runneth dry. That slow, ominous beat is even looking around going, “What am I doing here?”
Maybe it was a good way to wink, to show Brown and Drake buried the hatchet (though, 100:1 they weren't in the studio on the same day. Pics or it didn't happen.), or a warning flare shot for Nicki's beau to see. Maybe it's an iteration that Nicki Minaj didn't come to change the game, she's just one of the guys until she's not.
Let's just, please, get a remix and see how we feel in the morning. Also, why is Drake the one in the papal hat? I thought Chris Brown's the one to be like, “Jesus is on my side,” wakka wakka.
“Only” is on Nicki Minaj's “The Pinkprint,” now due on real and virtual shelves Dec. 15.