This is the first solo single from Young Money MC Nicki Minaj. The song features Sean Garrett, who wrote and co-produced the track along with Alex Da Kid. Sean Garrett is a songwriter and producer who has had a hand in many hit songs, including Chris Brown's "Run It!
" and Usher's "Yeah
." Minaj said to MTV News: "Shout-out to Sean Garrett. I've always loved his style. He really kinda had a great idea of what I wanted to do. I wanted to be theatrical, but I am very serious about what I do. He was able to mesh that together and have a really fun but direct record, if that makes sense."
The song's music video was shot on March 16 2010 in the deserts of Lancaster, California with director Hype Williams. The clip features Sean Garrett with cameo appearances by Minaj's label mate Drake, Cash Money co-founder Bryan "Baby" Williams and model Amber Rose. She told MTV News: "I brought my BFF Amber Rose out here. This is a massive attack. We shot the helicopter scene. Obviously, I had to have a hot-pink Lamborghini. We're having fun in the car, and we see a freakin' helicopter chase us. So we get on the walkie-talkie, like, 'Mayday! Mayday!' It's really fashion and beauty shots, and we're acting like we're doing something important.
I kinda always like to do things in an unexpected fashion," she added. "I didn't want to shoot the typical new-artist vision. Thank God I have a wonderful label that stands behind me and my vision. I met Hype in a freakin' airport. I didn't recognize him without his dreads. We exchanged information, and it happened to be a week before I wanted to shoot a video. I told him the idea. Of course, I had to let Baby and (Cash Money co-founder) Slim know and hope they would understand my expensive taste. It all came together. Sean Garrett is on the hook."
Minaj recalled to MTV News; "The beat, as soon as I heard it, I was in Africa being captivated by crazy drums. It's a very rare. You're not gonna get the song the first time you hear it. After the second or third time, you're gonna be like, 'Whoa, what is this?' It sounds nothing like anything that's out right now."
Alex Da Kid told MTV News that some other artists wanted the beat but both he and Sean Garret agreed Nicki would do it justice. "'Massive Attack' ... I'm kinda mobile. I make a living on my laptop," he explained. "Any time a idea hits me, I put it down. I started that track on the train going to the studio. I don't generally do that. I always kinda wait, but I had a melody idea. So I started on the train and finished in the studio. I knew it was special from the start. It wasn't like I was aiming for Nicki with this track; I had a idea I thought was crazy. Nicki heard it and the rest was history. With all my stuff, I base everything in hip-hop," he added. "I been listening to hip-hop since I was 2 or 3. I try and broaden everything. I love all types of music and I do everything. I do rock, I do pop. Everything I do is based in hip-hop - that's the foundation."
The song failed to meet chart expectations only reaching #65 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and eventually was dropped entirely from Minaj's debut album, Pink Friday. Garrett protested to Billboard magazine that the track's lack of success was, "out of my control. I was only able to do as much as I was allowed to do. Sometimes you have to step back and get off the wheel. I didn't have control of the entire creative process. A lot of [other] artists trust me enough and allow me to do what I know is best to do as a producer."