Review : Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday Roman Reloaded
PitchforkDuring the making of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Nicki Minaj had some sort of epiphany. The moment occurred while she was recording an evil moonwalk of a rap song called "Come on a Cone"-- after verbally shitting on any and all competition for two minutes, she peaks with, "If you weren't so ugly, I'd put my dick in your face." And then something special happens. She pauses the track and starts to sing "dick in your face" all melismatic, like she's vying to stay alive on "American Idol". She's skewering tired pop-star singing styles, hip-hop masculinity, and maybe even herself, because while her major-label debut turned out to be a star-making success, it often traded in Nicki's trademark, potentially-game-changing eccentricities for something smoother, blander, and more radio-ready. Reminiscing on the "dick in your face" breakthrough in a Complex interview, she recently said, "That's when it was like [makes soda-can spritz noise]-- explosion, Roman Reloaded is here!"
And that sound-effected bit of self-promotion proves to be true on the album. Well, on some of the album, at least. Those who buy this thing based on the delirious bubblegum hit "Super Bass" or the CD's kindergarten-art-class via Maxim cover will likely be quite vexed by an extended opening salvo of minimalist, futurist hip-hop that recalls nothing less than Clipse's devilish opus Hell Hath No Fury. This streak includes two brilliantly off-kilter songs from "Niggas in Paris" producer Hit-Boy, the livewire "Cone" along with "I Am Your Leader", featuring verses from rap-cred stampers Rick Ross and Cam'ron. There's the effortless, pinging schoolyard taunt "Beez in the Trap", and the hyped "HOV Lane", which ends up pretty vicious considering its beat vaguely recalls the "Inspector Gadget" theme song. And the instrumental for "Roman Reloaded" employs safety-clicks and bullet booms for percussion as Nicki flips the sellout claims on their head: "Nicki pop?!/ Only thing that's pop is my endorsement op." On all of these songs, Nicki is dartboard focused-- she's rapping harder here than on almost anything from Pink Friday; the verses are akin to those on her breakout mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, or the myriad song-stealing guest shots she worked to leverage her big break in the first place. Listen to this album's first seven tracks, and it would be completely understandable to think that Nicki was using her first-class pop status to infiltrate and innovate with the playful abandon of prime-era Missy Elliott or Busta Rhymes. ...full text
MtvIt's April 3, which means that Nicki Minaj's sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded has finally made its official debut. The 19-track LP shows a clear division between rap tracks (featured on the first half of the album) and super pop numbers (which make up the second half) and critics aren't exactly feeling the body of work as a whole. It's not Nicki's talent as a rapper that's been questioned, so much as her decision to put out dance-pop tracks for the sake of commercial appeal.
In an at times scathing one-and-a-half-star review, Slant praises Reloaded's opening tracks as "hard, confrontational rap songs" that are "brilliant." However, and it's a big however, "The remaining 53 minutes of Roman Reloaded are a disaster, so much so that I could fill the rest of this review with a non-exhaustive list of the most embarrassing missteps." Ouch.
The album is divided "almost exactly between a rap half and a pop half," and if the rap half — particularly the tracks "Beez in the Trap" and "Come on a Cone" — is being praised, the pop half is being trashed harder than just about any pop album in recent memory....full text
Thatgrapejuice.After whipping up a frenzy with her debut ‘Pink Friday’ in 2010, this week sees Nicki Minaj stake her claim as a formidable chart force with the arrival of her eagerly awaited sophomore set ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded‘.
A pick ‘n’ mix of genres, the project is split loosely in two; a musical melee, the set finds itself divided between songs rolled in Hip-Hop grit and others soaked in Pop fantasy.
Boasting a tracklist as polarised as the artist performing them, the question on the lips of many remains: beyond the wigs, schtick, and “eccentric”, does Nicki deliver on the most important release of her career?
In short, “yes”. However, it’s a response served with a potent side-course of “caution”.
For, despite delivering the goods on an Urban front, ‘Reloaded’s upper echelon serves up the depth of a steam-pressed pancake.Indeed, while the Drake, Nas and Jeezy assisted ‘Champion‘ gets an “A” for poignancy, its neighbours can be summed up with the following sentences:
I’m better than you.
You wish you were me.
I’m richer than you.
Are you aware that you wish you were me?
The repetitiveness of such “bravado” holistically takes little from the gems that are the Hitboy produced duo ‘Come On A Come‘ and ‘I Am Your Leader‘. After all, a degree of “pomposity” ultimately serves as genre-cornerstone of commercial Hip-Hop. This does, however, in select instances make for exhausting listening- especially on the Hip Hop Quorn that is the Kenoe cooked ‘Beez In The Trap‘....full text
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