Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
|Released||April 2, 2012|
|Genre||Downtempo, hardcore hip hop|
|Label||Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic|
|Writer||Nicki Minaj |
Nikhil Seetharam (co-producer)
|Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded track listing|
|"Champion" is track number 7.|
"Right by My Side"
"Champion" is a song by Nicki Minaj from her second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, which features guest vocals from Nas, Drake, and Young Jeezy. The song is the seventh track from the album. It was written by Minaj, Tyler Williams, Nikhil Seetharam, Drake, Jeezy, and Nas, and was produced by T-Minus, and Nikhil Seethram (co-producer). It was released on April 2, 2012 along with the whole album. A music video was planned for the song but it was never shot.
A poll was posted on Minaj's official website, on May 24, 2012, asking the fans to choose the next singles. The poll is divided into three categories. The second category asks the fans to choose between "Champion", "HOV Lane", and "I Am Your Leader". "Champion" had the most votes and won the poll, second was "HOV Lane", and third was "I Am Your Leader". Minaj confirmed on June 6 that "Champion" is the next urban single from the album, and will be released along with "Pound the Alarm". However, she didn't release another urban single. Instead, Minaj released a video for "I Am Your Leader".
Many critics said the song was a reprise of "Moment 4 Life," however, she mentions more about her childhood and personal life in this song. She talks about her old childhood friends, Tee-Tee, Tweety, Viola, Sharica, Candace, Thembi, Lauren, and Aisha. She also pays tribute to her late cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, who was shot dead in 2011. The song also interpolates part of the lyrics of "Click Clack"—"Bitches don't know the half like they flunked at math."
"Champion" garnered mostly positive reviews from music critics, with many calling it an album highlight. Andrew Hampp of Billboard gave the track a positive review, stating Minaj "Sheds light in her journey from struggle to success." While reviewing the album, Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone declared the song "beamingly triumphant". Global Grind reviewer Brittany Lewis gave the song a very positive review, saying "This retrospective track explores Nicki's more serious side and details the trials and tribulations of Nicki's now solidified success" and went on later to say that "This relatable track will definitely make you evaluate your own life." Both the reviewer from The Washington Post and Mesfin Fekadu of The San Francisco Chronicle called the song "top-notch".
Minaj confirmed that a music video for "Champion" will be filmed with "Pound the Alarm." On June 27, Minaj said that the video for Champion will be filmed the next week (the first week of July) in a "very 'special' 'sacred' place". Since Nicki didn't have time to film Champion because she has to head back over seas, the video shoot was delayed and later canceled. Minaj released a video for "I Am Your Leader" instead of "Champion."
Minaj performed Champion for the first time on 106 & Park on April 3, 2012, along with "Roman Reloaded", "HOV Lane", "I Am Your Leader", "Beez in the Trap", "Right by My Side" and "Fire Burns". She also performed Champion alongside "Beez in the Trap" with 2 Chainz on the 2012 BET Awards. The song was on the set list of her Pink Friday Tour, on all dates.
- 50 Cent is also referenced in "Barbie Dreams".
- Minaj also references her late cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, in "All Things Go".
- Recorded at: Conway Studios Los Angeles CA & Jungle City Studios, New York NY
- Mixed at: Conway Studios Los Angeles CA
- Writers: O. Maraj, T. Williams, N. Seethram, A. Graham, J. Jenkins, N. Jones
- Producers: T-Minus
- Co-Producers: Nikhil Seethram
- Recorded by: Ariel Chobaz, Noah “40” Shebib & Stuart White
- Recording Assistant: Jon Sher & Noel Cadastre
- Mixed by: Ariel Chobaz
- Mix Assistant: Jon Sher
[Verse 1: Nicki Minaj]