Monday, 2 April 2012

Review: Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded


Nicki’s second album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is an annoying affair. On one hand it showcases Nicki’s unique offering which is her ability to inhibit various genres, from Hip Hop to Dubstep to Dancehall it’s all here. On the other hand the promise that she shows throughout the album could have been used to make a far more credible and entertaining album.

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded seems to be split into two halves, the 1st half is a more ‘Urban’ affair, focused on Hip Hop. The second has a more commercial edge to it, featuring a mixture of House, Dubstep and RnB orientated Pop songs. It is the second half that will bring  Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded commercial success through singles, especially in the UK.


It seems like the first half of the album is Nicki with her friends, all bravado and hype. Take “Hov Lane” for example, on which Nicki raps "I don’t do shots neither, I’m buying the whole bar." Or the “Did It On ‘Em” part 2 sounding-“Come On A Cone”, on which Nicki raps "if you wasn't so ugly, I’d put my dick in your face...ooh hoo dick in your face." Nicki’s fascination with penises continues on “I Am Your Leader,” where she raps "I am your leader, you not a believer? Suck a big dick.”


Nicki Minaj does however attempt to address her critics, who say that she is now making more commercial songs. On “Roman Reloaded” she raps:

"I guess I went commercial
Just shot a commercial
When I flew to the set though
I aint fly commercial
And the ad is global, yep
Your ad was local
Where we shot it was a lot of different agriculture’s
So I laugh at hopefuls
Nicki pop, only thing that’s pop is my endorsement"

The song also features Lil Wayne who delivers one of the best verses on the album. Wayne delivers one of his trademark punch line filled verses with lines like "pop a molly smoke a blunt, that mean I'm a high roller" and "My ex wanna work it out, bitch try yoga." His other appearance is on “Sex In The Lounge” on which he delivers a verse that would be inaudible if the expletives were removed.



On “Champion” Drake's verse is pretty poor, Young Jeezy sounds like he just came off stage and recorded his verse. Although highly passionate, Nas sounds slightly out of place with the rest of the cast (I doubt they would be on the song if it was Nas's). The names involved are more exciting than their contributions to “Champion”, apart from T-Minus who delivers another stellar beat.

The Chris Brown assisted “Right by My Side” sounds like a future single as does "Automatic" even though it sounds like something that was intended for Rihanna.

Having peaked at #2 in the UK Singles chart, "Starships" has done exactly what Nicki would have wanted to achieve when she collaborated with RedOne. Unfortunately the song is pretty dyer; a bad blend of trashy pop and bad dance music. Tracks 10 to 17 follow in the same vein, with the majority being produced by frequent Lady Gaga producer RedOne. If you’re the type of person to go raving in the Oceana main room then you’ll love the 2nd half of Nicki's album. If you have a younger sister/niece who’s not old enough to go raving she’ll love this part of the album too. But for the rest of us, it goes on for far too long and feels like a bad joke.

Nicki's Lil Kim dissing record, "Stupid Hoe" rounds off  Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded at a time you would have been forgiven for thinking that Nicki was a singer not a rapper. Such is the amount of RnB/ Dance music on the second half of the album.


Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in Summary
There's enough bad dance music to keep the UK general public pleased, judging by how they received "Starships". Unfortunately if that's not what you're looking for then there aren't enough stand out tracks to even warrant streaming this album let alone purchasing it.  Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded  is for Nicki's die hard followers or Barbie's as she refers to them as opposed to anyone else who may be interested in this album. Hopefully pretenders to the female Rap throne like Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea and even Lady Leshurr will be spurred on by what this could and should have been and produce better efforts.

Rating:
Avoid | Stream | Recommend

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is available to buy now on iTunes UK & is released on 3rd April on iTunes USPink Friday: Roman Reloaded is also available to stream now on Spotify.