Nicki Minaj’s new app seems to pick up where Freestyle Fridays left off: rather than just allowing players to get dressed up and amass social points like the phenomenally popular games from Kim Kardashian and Kendall & Kylie Jenner, Minaj’s The Empire lets users record their own raps into it and potentially go viral. There’s also a story, but as Engadget puts it, it’s deeper than rap:
All the while, the game tries to inculcate values. In the Jenner game, it was the importance of friendship; in The Empire, it’s the power of believing in yourself.
Aww! To underscore that, Minaj appropriately released “Ain’t Gone Do It,” a song that expresses the additional value of being a bad bitch (over a sing-song beat that just made me unexpectedly nostalgic for the era of Jibbs and Webstar).
“Who the fuck told you that we splittin that bill” is my new group-dinner mantra. But Minaj just provided the first verse, like the doting mother she is; the track is meant to approximate how the game works, and subsequently showcases verses from users with varying degrees of skill— “Rappin with Nicki/I’m tappin that app” is a good line even though it’s shameless promotion. It also shows how fun this game probably is to play, but like many freestyle promotions before it—companies and media outlets have been doing this kind of thing for years, and Katy Perry’s app lets users sing and make their own videos—you probably really don’t want to listen to most of them. Still, virality is true currency in this deeply psychedelic era, so now that Vine’s dead maybe we’ll start seeing Nicki Minaj’s The Empire stars. Stranger things have happened!