Nicki Minaj Keeps On Trucking

The embattled superstar raps like she has not a care in a world on Jesy Nelson's new single, and more new music this week


Absolutely not: Jesy Nelson featuring Nicki Minaj, “Boyz” – “I like a bad, bad boy, you know I like a bad, bad boy,” sings former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson (you may remember her viral Jamaican accent) on her first solo single. Yes, we know, or if we didn’t, we could have predicted it. Bad boys: they’re awfully popular! I guess every generation needs a reminder. This reminder happens to be particularly repetitive: The video and guitar-laden track directly reference P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy 4 Life.” Nicki Minaj does not directly reference her recent controversies in her guest spot, though she does state with a wink, “I only want a bad boy as my bestie.” Cute! Anyway, in another stunning blow to cancel culture, Nicki Minaj is still here. —Rich Juzwiak

Make this music video an entire movie: Justin Beiber, “Ghost” – Listen, if you told me a Justin Bieber music video starring Diane Keaton as his grieving grandmother who learns to live a new life under his tutelage would be something that anyone wanted, under normal circumstances, I would laugh. However, after viewing the video for “Ghost,” which is uh, just that, I demand a full-length feature film. Here’s the logline: A grieving woman’s life changes for the better when her bad-boy pop star grandson is forced to live with her in order to hide out after personal scandal, and both parties learn valuable lessons from each other about life, love, and seizing the day. Call me, Hollywood. — Megan Reynolds

Speaking of canceled: Arca featuring Sia, “Born Yesterday” – Did you know that after deleting her Twitter in February after receiving backlash for her portrayal of an autistic character in her movie Music, and then fighting with some of her critics (many of them autistic themselves), Sia still hasn’t returned to Twitter? Anyway, if you missed her or her shouty singing, here she is with avant-pop artist Arca. The first two minutes of this are a no from me, but once the double-time kick drum ignites, it wins me over for recalling how well Sia can command a stomping four on the floor beat. —RJ

It’s Christmas in October: Darren Criss, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Under normal circumstances, this old chestnut is a reliable tearjerker, prone to moving me and anyone with a soul (?) to a brief cry. Darren Criss’s oeuvre, however, does not move me to any sort of emotion other than, “Ah, that guy?” Perhaps I was hopeful that his dulcet tones would stir sentimentality or at least make me feel something—and surprisingly, it did. I am ready to skip past Halloween and hurtle straight into Christmas now. Just one play of this perfectly serviceable cover of an old standard made me yearn for snowfall and jackets. Is this the beginning of Q4’s seasonal depression or is it a genuine desire for the treacly goodness of the holiday season? I don’t know, but let me listen to this in private for another half hour or so, and I bet I’ll know the answer. —MR

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