Marilyn Monroe

Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This sober piano-driven track finds Minaj brooding about her personal struggles and the price of fame. It features her singing with soft vocals rather than the rapid-fire rhymes the Queens MC is best known for. The song was inspired by American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), whose "dumb blonde" persona was used to comic effect in a series of 1950s comedies including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Some Like it Hot (1959). Despite being revered as one of the most prominent sex symbols during that period, the final years of Monroe's life were dogged by personal problems caused by the constant media attention. Since her tragic early death, aged 36, she has become one of the most famous Hollywood icons of the twentieth century.
  • When Minaj sings: "Call me the cursed/ Or just call me blessed/ If you can't handle my worst / You ain't getting my best / Is this how Marilyn Monroe felt?" she is alluding to one of Monroe's best-known quotes: "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
  • Several songs have been inspired by Marilyn Monroe's struggles to do with fame, the best known being Elton John's "Candle In The Wind," which he later rewrote as a tribute to another tragic 20th century icon, Princess Diana.
  • Like Monroe, Minaj puts a lot of pressure on herself, and the Queens MC believes she understands how the Hollywood star felt. "So much is taken out of you that you lose yourself," Minaj told NME. "I feel like I've set the bar too high, so I always have to be 'on.' I can identify with Marilyn Monroe in that people saw a beautiful woman, but inside was a fragile little girl.''
  • Minaj told Artist Direct that the song came from producer J.R. Rotem. "On the first album, I did 'Fly' with Rihanna," she recalled, "and he produced that as well. He hit me up and he said, 'I have a song that I think only an icon can sing.' I was like, 'Oh J.R., shut up!' [Laughs] We laughed a little bit on iChat. He sent it, and I fell in love with the song."
  • Minaj loved the song as it spoke to her as a woman. "I'm very infatuated with Marilyn Monroe," she explained to Artist Direct. "I had a moment with that song where I was like, 'Oh my God, every woman in this world needs to hear that.' No, we're not perfect. Sometimes, we think, 'What's wrong with us?' We spend so much time criticizing ourselves. I needed to hear that, 'I'm not perfect, but I'm worth it.' It resonated with me. I felt like the world needed to hear it."

Comments: 2

  • Siahara Shyne Carter from United StatesYup, I hear Niki just made mistake in Pronouncing " Marilyn " she sings "Arilyn" instead of Marilyn
    but The whole lyrics I Love it! I also love the part
    " IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE MY WORSE
    YOU AIN'T GETTING MY BEST" it is everywhere in INTERNET When you search this Quotes.

    I adore Marilyn Monroe too I never thought her name is Marilyn Monroe until I search it, But I think Already saw Marilyn Monroe Pictures When I was young, Anyway Gone too SOON If she's alive Today maybe her age is 81 For me she is "The most beautiful woman in INTERNET" her beauty too is simple but she is beautiful I just love this song ;-) Everyone is Struggling to be famous even me lolHEHEHE but the most important is You are true and you are not lying to yourself.

    Just be You ;-)
  • Ashley Bey from Irmo, ScLove this song
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Grunge Bands Quiz

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

Charlie Benante of Anthrax

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"They're Playing My Song

Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.