Would you believe me if I told you the hottest power pop duo today is Nicki Minaj and Avril Lavigne? Believe it, because the brazen Queen MC and the former punk princess have joined forces for a feisty new kiss-off anthem, "Dumb Blonde," which is like the love child of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" and Hoku's "Another Dumb Blonde." (You're welcome for that blast from the past.)
The first two singles from Lavigne's new Head Above Water era — "Tell Me It's Over" and the epic title track — found the singer in more emotional, mature territory, but "Dumb Blonde" brings back the sneering attitude she was once known for. "I ain't no dumb blonde / I ain't no stupid Barbie doll / I got my game on / Watch me, watch me, watch me prove you wrong," she asserts on the foot-stomping chorus.
Over a rattling drumline, her fellow hell-raising bombshell Nicki chimes in, "All the hatin' you was doin' got the Barbie poppin' / Now all of them wanna be a Barbie, I'm watchin.'"
Prior to the song's release, Minaj opened up about how she's a long-time fan of Lavigne's. "I used to drive to my job @ Red Lobster playing this woman's album for an hour straight everyday for months," she shared, name-checking "I'm With You" and "Sk8er Boi" as her favorite jams. "This woman is so unbelievably talented."
Lavigne returned the love, calling Minaj "legendary" and tweeting, "Nicki is such a talented, strong woman and driving force. Having her on the song is so special to me."
"Dumb Blonde" is the latest taste of Lavigne's Head Above Water — her first album in six years — which arrives this Friday (February 15). Welcome back, Avril!
- Madeline Roth.