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Mario releases Nicki Minaj-assisted comeback single

May 23, 2013

Mario-feat.-Nicki-Minaj-Somebody-Else-iTunesMario Barrett has been one of Baltimore’s biggest representatives in pop music, and he’s still a big deal on Twitter. But he’s also the kind of sleeper R&B star who only gets a big hit every few years, and has to prove he’s still got it every time he comes back out with an album. And his upcoming fifth album Restoration got off to a good start this week with the release of the lead single ”Somebody Else” featuring Nicki Minaj.

Usually, a song featuring Nicki Minaj is a mixed blessing: she might help you score a hit, but she may also overshadow you with her over-the-top personality. “Somebody Else,” fortunately, doesn’t suffer from that issue – she doesn’t show up until two and a half minutes into the track, and her verse in a relatively subdued style that fits the brooding track. Polow Da Don, who also produced Mario’s 2007 hit “Crying Out For Me,” fills the new single with a unique blend of booming drums, soulful samples and eerie backmasked textures; Minaj aside, it’s not quite like anything else on R&B radio right now, but it also feels of the moment enough that it could work. In any event, it’s sure to stir up more buzz than Mario’s first attempt to launch the album in 2011, with the sleepy “The Walls” featuring Fabolous.