"Starships" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

Another edgy, crass song from rap queen; older teens and up.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Minaj sings about money, sex, and doing whatever she wants, but she does portray a self-confidence and attitude that could be considered admirable by some.

Positive role models

Considering Minaj's notorious antics and potty mouth, she is hardly a positive role model. That being said, she's certainly made a name for herself in the rap and pop world, and seems to be on the heels of Madonna and Lady Gaga, notorious powerhouses themselves.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Nothing in detail about sex, but says "f--k who you want, and f--k who you like."

Language

"Motherf--ker" in the chorus several times, "bitches," "s--t," "f--k."

 

Consumerism

Patron, Bud Light.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several mentions of drinking. The song's about partying and dancing, but the lyrics could imply a different kind of high: "Can't stop 'cause we're so high ... we're higher than a motherf--ker."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "Starships" is similar to other Nicki Minaj tracks in terms of its iffy content. While there's an edited version available, Minaj's flair for the feisty and crass still comes through on this single. The song is about partying and living it up, but with some profanity (including "f--k") and talk of sex, drinking, and possibly being high, it's best for older teens and up.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The lead single for Minaj's album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, "STARSHIPS" is an up-tempo club beat about dancing and partying with some crude lyrics sprinkled in. "Roman Polanski," one of Nicki Minaj's many alter-egos, makes an appearance on this single and album, letting Minaj's signature sass and cocky flair shine through.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although there are moments on "Starships" that give us glimpses of Minaj's signature style, the song is not much more than cookie-cutter pop music. Minaj just throws in some crude lines like "f--k who you want, and f--k who you like" to make it more Nicki-fied. Still, there is something about Minaj's sound that begs you to listen. Yes, her rawness may make her completely inappropriate for young audiences, but it also makes her stand out from the crowd.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj and her music and persona. Do you think her bad-girl image is appealing to audiences? Why or why not? How do you think she compares to other known "bad girls" like Madonna and Lady Gaga?

  • Nicki Minaj is controversial because she uses profanity and raps about sex, yet men do this all the time and don't get called out for it. Is this a double standard? Can you think of other examples in music where men are allowed to be "bad" but women are criticized for doing the same?

  • Would Minaj be as popular if she sang less edgy songs? Can you picture her singing a sweet ballad or romantic love song?

Music details

Artist:Nicki Minaj
Release date:February 14, 2012
Type:Single
Label:Cash Money Records
Genre:Pop
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of "Starships" (CD Single) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old April 15, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Starships were meant to fly!

This fun song is About fun, partying, and being you. S--t, b-tch are used minimal times, and if you don't like motherf--ker, sing something else to yourself.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 8, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

awesome song!

This is my favorite song ever! No offends to them, but commonsensemedia has no right to tell me what music I can listen to. I personally don't think there should be music reviews on this site at all! Yea, you can prevent your kid from watching a movie or show or reading a book, but you cant really stop them from listening to music. This song is all about enjoying life and just having fun! That's what you should do!
Kid, 11 years old June 5, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Oh God, No.

No way is Nicki anywhere NEAR the kind of role-model you'd want. Nor does any of her songs have much of any meaning or message. In fact, not a lot of songs anymore have deep meanings that make you think- which disappoints me. What happened to music? I'd love to hear some Panic! At the Disco, FTP [Foster the People], or even some Gorillaz on the radio sometime. Not all this meaningless rap tunes and songs about sex.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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