Album Review- Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

The most impressive artist on Young Money/Cash Money is Nicki Minaj by far. Very attractive and off-beat yet still skillful, she has been intriguing since she first came out looking like Lil Kim on her first infamous promo poster. Years later, her style has switched up, she has become more popular, doing songs with Madonna and everyone else, because I mean when Madge is calling you and including you in the Super Bowl halftime show, how much more respect do you need to garner? A huge selling album and pop performances on every high profile event also back her reputation up as an icon and superstar. However, following the odd video for 'Stupid Hoe' which was BET banned and her awful Grammy's performance, there is some wonder if she can live up to her lofty expectations. Without further adieu, let's get into my album review of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.

The album starts off with the controversial song from the Grammy performance, "Roman Holiday" which is a chance for Nicki to unleash more of her 'Roman' alter-ego which is unstable and prone to more switches than the normal Nicki...The song is better than it was performed live but it's unconventional nature ends up being more than a gimmick because there are few serious moments of spitting from Nicki during it. She follows that up with "Come on a Cone" where Nicki brags about her accomplishments and connections though she borrows one of Drake's weakest lines when she talks about sitting with a designer. The verses are straight but the hook is weird but it will definately work for Nicki fans who like her myriad of voice inflections. She gets into a more serious hip-hop mode on "I am Your Leader" which blends yet another kind of odd hook with straight up rap verses and she does her thing as do her features on the track, Rick Ross and Cam'ron.

Her next feature is much less impressive as Nicki lowers her rapping to keep from terribly outshining 2 Chainz on "Beez in the trap" which is a lame attempt at being trendy. It will probably be a hit. "HOV Lane" which she pronounces 'hove' lane is a straight rap track but could be a little better but I like how she played on the HOV lane concept with the name Jay-z has given himself. Like she's putting herself on that path so it works. The meanest rap track is "Roman Reloaded" where she kills Lil' Wayne when it comes to just spitting. She is more directed in her verses than he is which of course gives her points as he rambles randomly as usual. Most disappointing track goes to "Champion" which features Jeezy, Drake, and Nas. Drake's verse is lame, Jeezy sounds like he just finished a concert recorded vocals and said fuck it while Nicki cops out slightly and Nas sounds like he gave her one of those verses from "N" that didn't make the album. He sounds a like he mailed it in on this one, people will probably be on this like the Jeezy "I Do" but neither song lives up to its potential.

This is the point where the album hits the brakes and turns to the left starting with the Chris Brown assisted "Right By My Side" which is destined to be an urban/pop crossover single. Think of Superbass style Nicki singing about a relationship and its a duet with Breezy- 106th and Park all day right here. I could also do without Lil' Wayne's verse on "Sex in the Lounge" which also features Bobby Valentino who is still hanging around. Then there is the most recent single, the completely Katy Perry-esque "Starships" which is what she just performed on American Idol. It sounds like the same on the next song "Pound The Alarm" which is going to go crazy in dance clubs all over. "Whip It" yet again is the same exact thing so if you like that, this is the segment meant for you. In fact, I don't even know the difference between any of those or "Automatic" and "Beautiful Sinner" which follow. "Marilyn Monroe" - I am not feeling the generalized lyrics but it is a pop ballad that will have a beautiful video to accompany it. "Young Forever" reminds me of something Jordin Sparks might have done if she had slightly less vocal ability. "Fire Burns" is cool I like the hook but its more of the same pop stuff I can't really devote myself to getting behind. She throws in Beanie Man on "Gunshot" which really rounds out the album for the most part although "Stupid Hoe" takes the album back 180 degrees when it comes in after that song.

It seems like a lot of this album is what i would consider throw away material in one sense because it's 'empty' pop music that is clearly designed to make use of Nicki's crossover appeal, get her on more award shows and videos that will play on any channel and not be confined to an urban block. While it is a very sound business strategy, it means that I look at this album as being sonically inferior to the first one. There isn't any growth on her rap songs to support the idea we're going to get to know more about Nicki and her life. There isn't a progression in the story of her life in that sense. I'm not going to knock her for pushing the boundaries of being an urban artist and mixing genres but I will decry the lack of serious content and originality in the pop portion of the album. As risky as she is in rap, she plays it too safe in that arena opting to stick to the formula and sell off of her name more than what was here creatively.

When it comes to the first 6-8 songs where rap is prevalent, she takes three and uses unconventional verse set ups and gimmicks to make the songs stand out and doesn't deliver enough of the lyrics that gained her acceptance. Her features don't even put forth a whole hearted effort and while I'm thankful Baby isn't on the album, where are Corey Gunz, Mack Maine, Tyga, and Gudda Gudda? Wayne and Drake both take the lazy way out and leave me feeling worse than Drakes wack album because I know what Nicki is capable of. So let me have it, call me a hater, and prove to me why this is a decent hip-hop album- hell prove me why its a decent pop album if you can but I can't really recommend you bump this one. Stick to the first Pink Friday.

Note: I thought Roman was supposed to be more gangster than Nicki not just confused and a Katy perry clone...

Rating 2.5/5 (a less than Chiddy Bang 2.5 at that)


  1. So much talent that she bastard child's it for pop acceptance. She can be dope when she wants to. Problem is, i no longer think that she wants to

  2. You're right which makes it all the more frustrating.

  3. I actually like this review because I see how you're attacking it. Although I would give it a 4 out of 5. It's weird because listening to rap music we do expect three things: Lyrics/Story/good beats. Liquid swords you couldn't really dance to, but it had all three of those things. When it comes to pop music they don't have our hip hop formula. The purpose is to merely entertain, have people forget their troubles, and hit you over the head with a relateable ballad or two.

    Nicki is a rapper but this is more of a hybrid album as she wants to more of a ke$ha/Fergie type. Yeah we can hold her up to the hip hop standards but less than half of the songs fit into the rap box, I think you have to review it the same way you would Britney's "Femme Fatale" CD.

  4. Smart post and so good blog
    thanks for you good information and i hope to subscribe and visit my blog Articles2Day.Org and more Training and Salesforce Improvement thanks again admin


Post a Comment

Popular Posts