Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Minaj does a valiant job of being all things to all people on Pink Friday. Opening with the 80s pop inflected Roman Holiday, things get a little more gutter with the following Come On A Cone before getting way street with I Am Your Leader, a track notable for a good Rick Ross guest verse and the first decent Cam'ron verse I've heard maybe ever, even if it does get a little Twista (never a good idea) towards the end.
Beez In The Trap features 2 Chainz, neck deep in his Sean Price transformation from his former Titty Boi appelation. He's better than I remember, and I would venture this track will continue his rise towards crossover notoriety. Wayne, Nas and Drake all make solid guest shots, as does the pretty irritating Beenie Man (why did it have to be Buju?). The guest shots are heavy, but it's important to remember the reason why we are here: Nicki can body a track and is arguably the best female MC since Lyte.
Rhyme skills aside, Minaj is also a fashion and pop culture icon, a hero to a zillion young girls around the world with ahas a Hulk-sized personae that dwarfs her diminutive frame. Things skew a little too much towards to the image end of things, but at the end of the day that demo is among the few that still pay for records and pony up absurd ticket prices to see her in enormous rooms. And let me reiterate: Nicki can rhyme her ass off, unlike a lot of image-driven artists in hip-pop today. Pink Friday is not going to bump G. Rap or Finesse off the JS-NYC playlists, but is a hell of a solid release for the hip-hop records of today.