Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Reloaded Review: From Super Hoes to Minstrel Shows: Nicki Minaj returns
I'll be honest. Never in my life have I considered myself a Nicki Minaj fan. In fact, during her early beef with Lil' Kim, I prayed so hard that Kim would destroy her, which she did on wax, but as music goes now, her album still went on to destroy the billboard charts and ultimately lead Nicki to where she is today, that being one of the biggest acts in pop music.
Other than changing the radio station whenever one of her songs would come on, which seemed to be like every five minutes at some points last year, I paid Nicki no mind, simply ignoring her as much as possible. However, my interest peaked about her new album when one of my favorite hip-hop radio personalities, Paul Rosenburg of Hot 97 in NYC went on a rant about Nicki's first single off her new album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded entitled "Starships," how it was basically the biggest sell-out record of all time, and how Nicki was no longer allowed to call herself a rap artist.
On first listen, I couldn't agree more. "Starships" sounds much more Lady Gaga or Katy Perry than Queen Latifah or Jean Grae. Ironically enough though, "Starships" turns out to be one of the better tracks on the album.
I went into the listening of this album with low expectations but never expected to be thrown by the first song. It turns out there's a whole back story to Nicki Minaj. Apparently she, like Eminem, has an alter-ego named Roman Zolanski, described by Minaj herself as "as demon living inside me" (insert Exorcist lines here). Roman comes out whenever Nicki gets mad, or I guess when she decides to make sophomore albums. Roman also has a mother named Martha who speaks in a British accent, which is helpful for those who actually care about this whole family tree living inside the mind of one Onika Maraj. For the rest of us, it's simply one more thing to keep our minds off the dreadful music she makes.
By the end of her second song, "Come on a Cone," one thing was crystal clear to me: this bitch is literally talking about nothing. I'd say she's the female Waka Flocka but I'd hate to insult Waka Flocka like that. At least he talks about going to strip clubs and shit. Nicki just talks about slapping people with her dick and "coming on a cone," two things I'm sure she's never done in real life (or who knows, maybe she has).
The first decent track is "I Am Your Leader," a cool up-tempo track featuring two great guest spots by Rick Ross and Cam'Ron. One prop I must give to Nicki is her solid guest appearances throughout this entire album. With the likes of Drake, Young Jeezy, Lil' Wayne, Cam'Ron and even Nas (fucking Nas man), she quickly made me remember why she's considered a real hip-hop artist, and four out of the first nine tracks are legit rap records. Of these four, "Roman Reloaded" and "Champion" are very solid, Champion perhaps being my favorite track on the album. I couldn't help but wonder, though, if Young Jeezy was losing his voice as I listened to his verse in "Champion." He sounds horrible.
Just as I was thinking the album may not be so bad, "Sex in the Lounge" brought me back to reality. It's a lazy, cookie cutter sex anthem with nothing at all interesting about it. The album takes a sharp left turn with "Starships," and goes into a five song rave playlist of sorts, like someone suddenly stuck ecstasy up Nicki's ass and she just went with it.
Surprisingly enough, as a whole, these five songs are some of the best on the album. Whether it's the beats or just the fact that Nicki makes good dance songs, each one is very solid and kind of catchy. I was surprised I liked them as much as I did.
The rest of the album is as follows: "Marilyn Monroe" is literally about nothing, "Young Forever" seems to be Nicki's attempt at copying Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away," "Fire Burns" is a weak revenge, broken heart song with an equally horrible hook, "I hope your fire burns." I would have personally preferred something more to that style of, "I hope your ice cubes melt" or "I hope your car gets impounded," but none the less, let that fire burn girl!
If I may rant for a second, it's like pop music in 2012 is being written by the same bunch of writers on every project. OH SNAP...wait a minute here. It IS written by the same people. "Starships'" writers include those who have written such other creddy classic hits for...One Direction and ATeens.
"Gun Shots" is not only dumb but seems to be inspired by another character Nicki is working on, maybe Roman's Jamaican cousin. The album ends with "Stupid Hoe," a cringe inducing track that's only upside is the thought that maybe in an alternate universe Nicki is calling herself a stupid hoe.
All in all, the album is not great, as expected. Surprisingly enough, there are some good tracks and some great guest spots, but at the end of the day, there's too much head scratching, ear plugging nonsense to recommend it as a whole. With that said, watch Nicki sell five million copies of this bullshit and go on to win a Grammy or two. Congratulations pop music and top 40 radio, you've done it! You have made the kids of today enjoy horrible music like this. I hope you're happy. If it's all the same to you, I'll be over here, listening to some Neil Young. Bye bye for now.
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