The Boys cover
Nicki Minaj
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up
Features Cassie
Released September 13, 2012
Format Digital download
Genre Alternative dance, hip hop
Length 4:09
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
Writer Jean Baptiste, Jonas Jeberg, Onika Maraj, Anjulie
Producer Jonas Jeberg, Jean Baptiste (co)
Single information
Single release September 13, 2012
Video release October 18, 2012
←Last single
"Girl On Fire (Inferno Version)"
Next single→
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up track listing
"The Boys" is track number 7.
Previous track
"I Endorse These Strippers"
Next track
"Va Va Voom"

"The Boys" is a song by Nicki Minaj and Cassie from the re-release of Minaj's second studio album, Pink Friday Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up. The song serves as the lead single of The Re-Up. It was written by Jean Baptiste, Jonas Jeberg, Onika Maraj, and Anjulie and it was produced by Jonas Jeberg and Jean Baptiste (co-producer). The song premiered on the US radio station iHeartRadio on September 13, and as a digital download the same day. It officially impacted Rhythmic Radio on September 25, 2012. A music video was filmed on September 21, and premiered at VEVO on October 18, 2012.

Background Edit

Minaj confirmed that she will release the lead single of her re-release album sometime in September at the VMA 2012 red carpet, on September 6: "I'm actually going to drop my new single like next week," she told E! News, on the VMA 2012 red carpet event.[1]

On September 10, Minaj started a "Q&A time", using the hashtag "#TheReUp" (referring to the re-release album), which consisted of fans asking Nicki questions about the re-release and the single (which she confirms that it will be released "this week", meaning September 10 to September 17).[2] In the Q&A time, many fans ask about the new single. With this, Minaj confirmed the name of the song ("The Boys"),[3] a video being shot for the single, [4] in which format the single will be released (digital download from Itunes),[5] and that the song features a female artist.[6] A day later, Minaj tweeted "Thursday" which is believed to be the release date of the single.[7]

The song was released on September 13, 2012, as a digital download from Itunes.[8] It also premiere the same day on US radio station iHeartRadio.[9] It was officially released at Rhythmic radio on September 25, 2012,[10] and was the most added song on rhythmic radio the week of its release.[11]

Cassie commented that "It was great working with Nicki on the song. We actually had been trying to get together for a while; we did a record together I want to say maybe two-and-a-half years before this, and it obviously didn't get any play. It was for my album, which I've been working on for years," she laughed in an interview with MTV News the week of October 14.[12] "It was kind of long overdue; we had been talking about it for a while, so it was nice to get together and finally do something, and to also have a visual to it," she said, and also said that she's honored to be included on The Re-Up: "She's always got amazing records out, so to be a part of that is really exciting."[12]It is a promo single because it is bad on the charts.

Cassie's reused demo Edit

The vocals of Cassie are from her second single "Money On Love" (from her sophomore album) which was leaked as a demo and was never officially released.[13] The demo is exactly the same as "The Boys," with the only difference being Nicki Minaj vocals and some missing parts of Cassie.[14]

Composition Edit

The Boys is a hip hop and pop song produced by Jonas Jeberg, and co-produced by Jean Baptiste,[15] and it was written by Jean Baptiste, Jonas Jeberg, Onika Maraj, and Anjulie Persaud.[16] It features a mix of synth swoops, syncopated percussion and gurgling acoustic-guitar arpeggios by Jeberg and Baptiste.[15] It also has a throbbing beat, harsh basslines and hyperactive breaks.[17] Cassie's parts are backed up by a guitar line.[18] The song is about a pithy kiss-off to men who try to buy love with money and jewels.[17]

Critical reception Edit

The song received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Gerrick D. Kennedy from LA Times commented that Minaj has "married the two styles" of rap and pop. Kennedy also said that the song "begs for immediate radio play" and called it a "fresh reminder of the Minaj tracks her rap fans love."[17] Nate Jones from Popdust gave the song four out of five stars to the song and said that the song is "catchy as hell, but with enough 'credibility'."[18] Rick Florino from ARTISTdirect gave the song a very positive review, giving it five out of five stars and called it "one of Minaj's best tracks yet and a landmark song for 2012."[19] He thanked Minaj for "changing the game again" and ensured that "the barbz are gonna freak on this one."[19]

Robbie Daw from Idolator said that the song "probably won't shake out as being the most memorable entry into Nicki's canon of jams."[20]

Music videoEdit

Music Video Information
Nicki Minaj, Cassie - The Boys (Explicit)

Nicki Minaj, Cassie - The Boys (Explicit)

Premiere October 18, 2012
Filmed September 21, 2012
Director Colin Tilley
Producer Andrew Listerman
Production co Riveting Ent.
Exec. producer Andrew Listerman, Jeff Panzer
Length 4:48
Source Video Static: "The Boys"


Minaj confirmed that a video was planned for the song during the "Q&A time" of The Re-Up. [4] The film of the video took place on September 21, 2012,[21] at Los Angeles, CA,[22] by Colin Tilley who also shot the I Am Your Leader music video.

On October 3, Nicki released a Behind the Scenes footage of her upcoming video. [23] A still image from the video was released October 10 on Nicki's twitter account, which was deleted later. It shows her in a pink and blue wig. On October 18, it was revealed that the video will be released the same day at 12:00 PM EST.[24] Minaj confirmed this about an hour later.[25] The video premiered on VEVO on October 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST.[26]

Cassie talked about the video with MTV News: "The concept of the video was definitely a collaboration. I've known [director] Colin Tilley for a really long time, but I hadn't got to work with him yet, so this was our first time," she said. "He really wants to hear the artists' input and wants to know what we want to do to make the video great. So he came to us with the treatment of us being in a Barbie world, and I wanted to put my little flavor on it, so I was like, 'What if I was Ken?' So Nicki loved the idea, and that's where that stemmed from."[12] She also explained that her inspiration "behind the look in the blue suit and the graffiti top was 'Ken on steroids.' Or 'Ken inspired by East London punk,'"[12]


Behind the ScenesEdit

Nicki Minaj Ft Cassie - The Boys (Behind The Scenes) Video Officiel

Nicki Minaj Ft Cassie - The Boys (Behind The Scenes) Video Officiel

Minaj told her fans, on October 3, that she will release a behind the scenes footage from her music video, "The Boys", on that same day.[27] Some hours later, she posted a video on her Twitter with the behind the scenes footage.[23]The video shows a well-dressed Nicki with yellow hair, a "gangster" hat, orange pants and a green jacket walking at a pink, green and purple street accompanied by a group of hunk men with pink suites wearing pink umbrellas. It also features Nicki talking about the "fabulous" video stage and she riding a car with pink dices.

Live performances Edit

"The Boys" was performed live in the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour.

Credits Edit


  • Mixed at: Studio Malibu, Malibu CA
  • Mastered at: Chris Athens Masters, Austin TX


  • Writers: Onika Maraj, Jonas Jeberg, Jean Baptiste, Anjulie Persaud
  • Producers: Jonas Jeberg
  • Co-producers: Jean Baptiste
  • Recorded by: Ariel Chobaz, Jonas Jeberg, Kuk Harrell & Josh Gudwin
  • Mixed by: Ariel Chobaz & Jonas Jeberg
  • Mastered by: Chris Athens
  • All Instruments & Programming by: Jonas Jeberg
  • Additional Vocal Production by: Kuk Harrell

The credits for "The Boys" are adapted from the liner notes of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up.[28]

Charts Edit

Chart (2012) Peak
France (SNEP) 136
Ireland (IRMA) 99
South Korea (Gaon International Chart) 94
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 113
UK R&B (Official Charts Company) 15
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard) 14
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard) 41

Release history Edit

Country Date Format
United States September 13, 2012 Digital download[29][30]
United Kingdom September 14, 2012 Digital download[31]
United States September 25, 2012 Rhythmic radio[10]

Lyrics Edit

Explicit version Edit

Clean version Edit

References Edit

  1. Nicki Minaj Readies ‘Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up’ for November. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. Twitter: Ok hashtag is #TheReUp (the re-release album that drops in Nov) Single drops this week! Wuddup barbz? Shoot! Q&A time!!!!!!! Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  3. Twitter: 'The Boys' > RT @_SupremeXxX: RT @I_ROMANZOLANSKI: RT @TeamMinajBXTCH: RT @Philly____: @NICKIMINAJ what's the name of the single ? #TheReUp Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Twitter: Yup! > RT @trillxgod: @NICKIMINAJ #theReUp is a video being shot for the single you're releasing? Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  5. Twitter: Itunes > RT @CamOnACone: How do you plan on releasing the new single? @NICKIMINAJ #TheReUp Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  6. Twitter: There's a female on 1st single! > RT @SUPERBADDBARB: #TheReUp are we gettin female features for the new album @NICKIMINAJ !?!?!? Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  7. Twitter: Thursday Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  8. Twitter: Nicki Minaj ft. Cassie "The Boys" on itunes … EXPLICIT Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  9. Digital Spy Nicki Minaj debuts new single 'The Boys' - listen Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 FMQB: radio releases Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  11. Twitter: Thank you for making "the boys" the #1 added song on rhythmic radio this week!!!!! Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Nicki Minaj And Cassie 'Boys' Duet Was 'Long Overdue' Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  13. Cassie previews second single “Money On Love” Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  14. "Money On Love" demo Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nicki Minaj ft. Cassie - The Boys - Listen Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  16. The Boys - Nicki Minaj | Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Nicki Minaj takes 'The Boys' to task in new single Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Singles Bar: Nicki Minaj featuring Cassie, “The Boys” Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Nicki Minaj "The Boys" Song Review — 5 out of 5 Stars Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  20. Nicki Minaj & Cassie’s “The Boys”: Listen To The ‘Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up’ Single Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  21. Twitter: At my shoot... Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Twitter: Here it is barbz!!! behind the scenes of "The boys"!! Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  24. Twitter: #TheBoysVideo | 12pm EST | 11am CT | 9am PT | 5pm UK - Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  25. Twitter: #TheBoysVideo premieres on VEVO in 27mins!!!!!!!!!!!!! Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  26. Twitter: #VEVOPremiere: @NICKIMINAJ drops another candy-colored fantasy ride for the #Barbz in #TheBoysVideo ft @CassieSuper! Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  27. Twitter: I think I'm gna upload bts footage from "the boys" vid shoot today Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  28. Digital booklet of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  29. Itunes (US) - Music The Boys - Single by Nicki Minaj & Cassie Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  30. Itunes (CA) - Music - The Boys - Single by Nicki Minaj & Cassie Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  31. Itunes (UK) - Music - The Boys - Single by Nicki Minaj & Cassie Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  32. Rapgenius lyrics "The Boys" - Nicki Minaj & Cassie
  33. YouTube: Nicki Minaj - The Boys (Clean Version) feat. Cassie Lyrics Video