I guess Maroon 5’s single, “Sugar,” wasn’t sweet enough since they decided to add a playful Nicki Minaj verse to a remix that is potentially more infectious than the original single. Cirkut (Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”, Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” and pretty much any big pop record on the charts) and Ammo (Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts”, Kesha’s “We R Who We R”) produced this funk-pop record that thankfully has a refreshing throwback sound. Minaj kicks off the remix by spitting what may be one of her nicest guest verses over a revamped “Sugar” beat.
The revamped beat loses some of the funk and 80s influence that can be heard on the original record but it works well with Minaj’s bars. “Sugar” is obviously killed it on the Top 40 charts. When I first heard about the “Sugar” remix, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do. V wasn’t Maroon 5’s strongest album (basically a rehash of what they did on Overexposed, but less catchy), but “Sugar” was definitely a standout when playing the album. While “Sugar” is a solid record, I wasn’t feeling it as a single even though it was one of the few singles that had the potential to be successful.
Hearing Minaj’s flow on this one instantly reminded me of an updated “Superbass” with naughtier innuendos, “Ain’t nothin’ sweeter / you want this sugar / don’t ya / up / down / inside / water park it / slip slide.” I don’t think Minaj is trying to say she’s a fan of waterparks but what’s a Minaj verse without a few sexual references? I’ve really been feeling Minaj’s recent releases and this remix is a definitely a win in her book.
After Minaj’s verse, the track pretty much plays like the original with a little production rework in Adam Levine’s first verse. I would rather hear this remix over the original verse. Maroon 5 collaborating with rap artists isn’t a new concept (“Payphone” with Wiz Khalifa, “Animals Remix” with J. Cole), and I hope they continue to shake things up with unexpected collaborations.