‘Super Freaky Girl’ Isn’t the First Time Nicki Minaj Has Referenced Rick James’ ‘Super Freak’

Superstar rapper Nicki Minaj has sampled some iconic songs in her own music over the years, such as Sir Mix-a-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back” in her smash single “Anaconda.” In her single “Super Freaky Girl,” Minaj sampled Rick James’ 1981 song “Super Freak.” But it’s not the first time Minaj’s music has made reference to the ubiquitous track.

Nicki Minaj, who sampled Rick James, wearing sunglasses and a multicolored top
Nicki Minaj | Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Nicki Minaj sampled Rick James’ ‘Super Freak’ on her song ‘Super Freaky Girl

Minaj has spent most of 2022 promoting her upcoming fifth studio album with singles “Do We Have a Problem?” and “Bussin.” In August, she gave fans a long-awaited hot girl summer track with “Super Freaky Girl.”

Minaj first teased the song on TikTok before its release. The song samples the chorus and the all-too-recognizable riff from Rick James’ “Super Freak.”

It’s not the first time “Super Freak” has been a part of a rap song. Its most famous use in hip-hop came from MC Hammer nearly a decade after the original song’s release. His 1990 single “U Can’t Touch This” incorporated the song’s riff into its production, almost becoming synonymous with the original.

Nicki freestyled over Gucci Mane’s song ‘Freaky Gurl’

Over the years, other hip-hop artists have also paid homage to Rick James’ “Super Freak,” either with a direct sample or a lyrical reference to the original song, from Jay-Z to Jeezy.

In 2006, Atlanta-bred rapper Gucci Mane released his song “Freaky Gurl,” featured on his albums Hard to Kill and Trap-a-Thon. The song doesn’t include the iconic riff, but the chorus alludes to lyrics from “Super Freak.” “She’s a very freaky gurl / Don’t bring her to mama” Gucci rapped. Rick James, meanwhile, sings in his song, “She’s a very kinky girl / The kind you don’t take home to mother.” Gucci went on to remix the track with guest verses from Lil’ Kim and Ludacris.

In 2008, Nicki Minaj was an up-and-coming rapper looking to make a name for herself in hip-hop. On her sophomore mixtape Sucka Free, she rapped over the “Freaky Gurl” remix, naming the song “Wanna Minaj?”. Her version included Gucci’s references to Rick James’ lyrics.

Her new music like ‘Super Freaky Girl’ will be like her mixtape era

Fans have been eager to hear what Minaj will deliver on her highly-anticipated fifth album, especially after the release of “Super Freaky Girl.” In a February 2022 interview on The Dana Cortez Show, she revealed that listeners can expect to hear the same braggadocious, raw style that characterized Minaj’s career in her mixtape days.

“There’s a little bit of full-circle-ness happening,” Minaj said, “because I’m creating music kinda like how I used to create music when I first started rapping on mixtapes.”

For her, this move of going back to basics feels right. “I just feel like that’s what’s needed right now,” she said. “[Writing] raps that connect with people, that make people want to sing along and channel their inner bad b****.”

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