This past Tuesday, famed rapper Nicki Minaj released her sophomore album entitled Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The hype for the new album grew as a result of multiple promotional events. These events included the release of the first single, “Stupid Hoe,” her grammy performance of “Roman Holiday,” and finally the debut of the chart topping single “Starships.” Although the three songs differ stylistically, it is the unexpected mixture of pop and rap that has brought the album great success. Only Nicki can tastefully blend rap and pop on the same album while managing to not alienate any of her fans. While many criticize the incorporation of both styles, saying it’s all over the place, I believe this is one of the smartest decisions she could make as she continues her rise to the top of the industry. The versatility Minaj displays is what sets her apart from all other artists today.
The album breaks down into what could have been made into two CDs. The first nine songs are Nicki at her finest, rapping as both herself and one of her alter egos, Roman Zolanski. This is fairly reminiscent of her early mixtapes. The last 13 songs showcase Nicki’s pop side which are sure to be a hit on all the radio stations this summer. The unique part of her pop is that she manages to incorporate rap into a song without its dominating the entire track. One of the best examples of this is “Whip It.” It’s catchy and poppy, but at the same time Nicki raps both verses, which to me is incredible.
On her mixtape section of the album, Minaj shines in “Roman Reloaded,” a song that many believe aims to jab Lil’ Kim, Nicki’s greatest enemy in the industry. “I Am Your Leader” is another one of her better songs. Nicki channels Roman throughout the track, interrupted by two sick verses from Ross and Cam’Ron. My final favorite is the pop ballad “Marilyn Monroe.” Nicki shines by using rap and just enough autotune in order to compare herself to one of the most troubled figures in entertainment history. The song is perhaps the deepest on the album and, surprisingly, is not terribly cliché.
As a whole, this album is unique and always entertaining. Minaj definitely aims to please all audiences. My advice: listen to it thoroughly before making any sort of negative judgement. There’s a lot here to love.
My top 5:
- Roman Reloaded
- Whip It
- I Am Your Leader
- Marilyn Monroe