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Vid It On’em: Nicki Minaj’s 10 Best Clips

Watch the over-the-top MC burn a salon, mow down onlookers and enter the boxing ring in her most outrageous videos

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj poses in the "Anaconda" music video, one of the rapper's 10 best.

From her Smack DVD origins to her present day Rolling Stone cover status, Nicki Minaj has always matched her ferocious rhymes and larger-than-life persona with a sharp visual aesthetic. As she's scaled the pop charts and become an icon, Minaj has turned into one of hip-hop's most consistently entertaining video artists, filling her clips with oddball concepts, colorful costumes and eye-popping effects. These are the 10 best from her first half-decade of stardom.

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“Dance (A$$)” (Remix)

Nothing reaffirms Nicki Minaj's star power like videos where she shows up for little more than a minute and completely outshines a less charismatic male co-star. Rocking the best Union Jack short shorts since the heyday of Def Leppard, Nicki marches into Big Sean's celebration of ass to shake her own and steal the show with the song's most entertaining verse.

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Taking cues from Big Sean's nods to MC Hammer, Minaj returned to early-Nineties pop-rap for perhaps the most infamous music video about booty since the original "Baby Got Back." Nicki's most sexually explicit material has always had a subversive edge, and a subtext of emasculation runs through the clip: Before teasingly playing with a banana in a kitchen scene, she slices it up, then gives Drake an epic lap dance that ends with her slapping his hand and leaving him brooding and alone.

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“Lookin’ Ass”

In 2014, Nicki Minaj rebooted her image, momentarily putting away the multi-colored wigs and wacky outfits to sport a more natural hairstyle and an elegant all-black wardrobe. That look was first unveiled, memorably, in the video for "Lookin' Ass," her solo contribution to the Young Money: Rise of an Empire compilation. The thread of gender warfare running through Minaj's work has never been more visible than in the scene where she raps angrily at male onlookers and mows them down with machine guns.

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“Stupid Hoe”

The first video from 2012's Roman Reloaded was a gauntlet thrown, a combative and bizarre diss track that never named its opponent but heaped disdain with cartoonish glee. The Hype Williams-directed video, which cut between images at a headache-inducing pace, features the rapper morphing into a caged tiger and small child. It broke Vevo records for views and remains the apex of Nicki's Roman Zolanski persona.

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“Super Bass”

"Super Bass" was buried on the bonus tracks of a deluxe edition for 2010's Pink Friday and probably wouldn't have been released as a single if it weren't championed by pop starlets like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Once it did get released, however, the Esther Dean-assisted confection became Nicki Minaj's defining crossover moment. Sanaa Hamri, one of the few prominent female directors in the music video world, rose to the occasion, creating a clip that literally splashed pink all over Nicki and her boy toys as the rapper rode motorcycles, danced under black lights and perfected her trademark blink.

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