Track Review: Willow Smith Feat. Nicki Minaj, 'Fireball'

65 Billboard Rating

Fireball (feat. Nicki Minaj) (4:11)
Producer: Stoopid Robots
Writer: O. Rambert, M. Kinchen, L. Franklin, O. Miraj
Publisher: various
Roc Nation/Columbia

Looking to build momentum for her forthcoming debut album, viral sensation Willow Smith teams with Young Money's most stylish hip-hop icon (sorry, Drake) for this beat-heavy dance floor bid. The 10-year old Smith sounds somewhat overmatched when paired with the imposing Minaj, though Nicki makes her best effort to make Willow feel at home and references her 2010 viral smash by spitting, "When it's time to whip your hair, put your braids up!" "Fireball's" chorus also attempts to replicate the earworm quality of Willow's debut, with a heavy beat pounding like a boxing glove and lyrics that make for a solid sing-along. Though not the revelation "Whip My Hair" was, "Fireball" remains an encouraging opportunity for the tween star to spread her wings alongside the cocksure Minaj. Plus, how can anyone not smile upon hearing a 10-year-old sing, "My whole crew is fresh and they rolling with me"?

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