Automatic (Nicki Minaj song)

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Song by Nicki Minaj
from the album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Released2012 (France)
FormatDigital download

"Automatic" is a song recorded by American rapper and singer Nicki Minaj, from her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). It was written by Onika Maraj, along with Nadir Khayat, Jimmy Thornfeldt and Geraldo Sandell, while production was handled by Khayat and Jimmy Joker. Musically, "Automatic" is a Europop and techno-influenced song that features strong elements of dance music and electronic music with instrumentation of synthesizers. "Automatic" received mixed reviews from most music critics, with most of them rather dismissing or praising the production, lyrical content and composition.

Background and composition[edit]

"Automatic" was written by Maraj, along with RedOne, Jimmy Thornfeldt and Geraldo Sandell, while production was handled by Khayat and Jimmy Joker. The song had a single release in France, while the rest of the world got "Va Va Voom".[1] The song is about the "automatic" way somebody moves while on the dance floor. Minaj sings, "I can't control the way I'm moving hips, bet you never ever seen it like this, I'm a monster on the floor I can't quit." The song also references one of Nicki Minaj's older songs, "Girls Fall Like Dominoes" in the lyric, "falling like a domino".[2][3] The song was compared to Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" including "Balearic beats" and includes a dubstep breakdown as well. The Boston Globe stated that the song "has a spoken-word interlude that sounds suspiciously like the breakdown on 'Vogue' by Minaj's latest cheerleader, Madonna."[4]

Adam Graham of The Detroit News said the song made Minaj sound like a "generic dance-club diva, lost in a sea of pounding bass and EDM flourishes."[5] Slant Magazine said that "Automatic", along with "Starships", "Pound the Alarm", and "Whip It", are "retro-techno-pop earsores comprised of indiscriminately arranged bits of LMFAO's 'Sexy and I Know It', Rihanna's 'We Found Love', and pretty much any recent Britney Spears or Katy Perry song you can name."[6]

Critical reception[edit]

"Automatic" received mixed reviews from many music critics. Billboard gave a mixed review, calling it "The musical equivalent to a Prada bag from Chinatown... Minaj sounds so anonymous on this track that if she didn't name-check herself at several points you'd forget it was her song."[7] Spin magazine stated that "The upside is that even when Minaj is dialed to 'mediocre', she's never close to terrible; [Like] on 'Automatic', she does a better (or at least more nuanced) Rihanna than Ri-Ri herself."[8] Fact also commented on the same subject, stating the song sounds "anonymous" and not necessarily like Minaj.[9] Adam Bychawski from Drowned in Sound was also negative, stating the song "will make you wish someone would find her darn reset button."[10] Randall Roberts from the Los Angeles Times said the song "could be mistaken for a 15-year-old's first stab at making a dance track on Ableton software, a cynically simple run with clumsy synth chord progressions that were already tired when invented at cheesy 1998 raves."[11] Chris Coplan from Consequence of Sound called the song, along with other songs from the album, "the most utterly useless ballads and club anthems in recent history."[12]

However, there was more positive reception of the song. Katherine St Asaph from PopDust gave the song three stars out of five. She praised the song's production, saying "Nicki sounds far more comfortable on this dance track than on, say, 'Starships', and the bridge absolutely slays." However, she criticized the lyrical content as a "joke".[3] Kyle Anderson from Entertainment Weekly was positive towards the song, but was critical towards its inclusion on the album due to its length. He also stated that along with "Beautiful Sinner"; "It isn't that its bad, it's just that they could have been done by any lesser talent with a tolerance for Auto-Tune."[13] Laurence Green from MusicOMH was more positive, comparing the song to Madonna's MDNA with "fizzy synths contributing to a revved-up Ibiza nights vibe."[14] Kitty Empire from The Observer pointed to "Automatic" as an example of a common "pop-oriented" song in mainstream music, stating that "[Automatic] is an off-the-peg, chart-seeking missile full of rave dynamics."[15] Newsday praised the song and "Fire Burns", but opined that the album consisted of "way too many anonymous dance numbers that could have come from a dozen singers."[16]


The song has received accusations that it was stolen from hip-hop singer and songwriter, and long-term rival of Nicki Minaj's, Lil' Kim. In March 2012, Lil Kim was interviewed on Power 105.1 for its Breakfast show to explain the rival of Nicki Minaj.[17] She explained that when she was recording her studio album, and she was heading a deal with Cash Money Records.[18] During the interview, Kim claimed that an unreleased song, also entitled "Automatic", was recorded three years ago while she was with Cash Money, but did not make the final cut. Described as a "dance-type of record", she stated "On her [Minaj's] new album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, she has a song called ['Automatic'], and the song is so similar to the song that I played for Slim."[18] She felt that her "new sound she brought to the table" was taken by Minaj, and stated that "whether my fans liked that or not, it was my sound."[17] Following Minaj taken her sound, Kim found Minaj "catty" and "obnoxious", but said that she never had a problem with her.[18]

Live performances[edit]

The song was included on the setlist of Minaj's Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour.[19]


Chart (2012) Peak
France (SNEP)[20] 102
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 199


  1. ^ Nicki Minaj: le single "Automatic" en écoute (in French). October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Automatic by Nicki Minaj Songfacts
  3. ^ a b Nicki Minaj's "Roman Reloaded" Reviewed: "Automatic" - Popdust - Popdust
  4. ^ Nicki Minaj reloads. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Review.
  5. ^ Review: Nicki Minaj shoots blanks with 'Roman Reloaded' - Poptropolis - The Detroit News
  6. ^ Slant Magazine Review.
  7. ^ Hampp, Andrew (March 29, 2012). "Nicki Minaj, 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Rovi. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  8. ^ Nicki Minaj, 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' (Cash Money) | SPIN | Albums | Critical Mass
  9. ^ Nicki Minaj: Roman Reloaded – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music
  10. ^ Drowned in Sound Review.
  11. ^ "Pop & Hiss". Los Angeles Times. April 2, 2012.
  12. ^ Album Review: Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded | Consequence of Sound
  13. ^ "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded". Entertainment Weekly.
  14. ^ Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded | album reviews | musicOMH Archived April 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ The Guardian Review.
  16. ^ Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: Reviews Are In! - Music, Celebrity, Artist News |
  17. ^ a b Lil Kim Explains Her Beef With Nicki Minaj. YouTube. Retrieved on March 12, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c Nicki Minaj 'A Very Obnoxious person,' Lil' Kim says. MTV.
  19. ^ Impact Magazine » Archive » Live Review: Nicki Minaj, Capital FM Arena (21/10/12)
  20. ^ " – Nicki Minaj – Automatic" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE". UK Singles Chart. April 14, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.