The Review: PINK FRIDAY: ROMAN RELOADED by Nicki Minaj

So who’s the real Nicki Minaj? The rapper or the pop star? The buttwoman or the creep? Hardcore or bubblegum? Ever since her verse on “Monster”, people have been on Nicki Minaj and looking at her as the new queen of rap. But by the time “Super Bass” went big, Nicki looked as if the Queen of Rap title was old news. The difference between her and Lil Kim (must I juxtapose them here?…) was that Lil Kim was slightly more traditional hardcore. Nicki, on the other hand, is a pure psycho. Not only does she change flows quickly but also alter egos, from Barbie to Roman Zolanski.

But it is fair to say that some of us have simply gotten tired of Nicki. The pure rap element seems lost within the shock values and weirdness. Nicki is no longer a rapper; she is a stuntwoman. So does the Pink Friday sequel say otherwise? Let’s see:

1. Roman Holiday

Initially, a good reminiscence of Pink Friday 1 aka the “old Nicki Minaj”. Apart from the bizarre and lackluster chorus from “Roman”, Nicki proves with the flow. But halfway through, the song starts getting corny with the over-dramatic “singing” flares from Nicki. A kinda wack start on the whole. The worst part about the song, however, is that it is only the first track out of the 19 on the album (on cue: “Oh sh*t.”)

2. Come on a Cone

A stab towards her “impostor” while boasting about her rich and relevant life. Still the pop star Nicki though. She sang that she will put a “dick in your face”. Yeah, impressive. Cool.

3. I Am Your Leader (feat. Cam’ron (KILLA!) and Rick Ross(HWUH!))

Finally. A strong track for once. Got to say though, Nicki sounded pretty weak in comparison to the other two, who just got their ignorant on like it was nothing. Cam felt especially ignorant on this one (“See the car is european but got imported from Tokyo/
Looking like a shark, the nose call it Pinocchio”). I might revisit this joint.

4. Beez in the Trap (feat. 2 Chainz)

Who said one-hit wonders can’t succeed again? 2 Chainz seems to be taking good advantage of this name change because his name keeps popping up everywhere. And for good reason too. He is one of those rappers with that brilliant ignorance. Plus, he is the only good thing about this track. The beat sounds reused and Nicki ain’t saying sh*t.

5. HOV Lane

Nicki must have known that she had been wack for the past few joints because she flows crazy here. Ironic she calls it the HOV Lane and not the WEEZY Lane though. Probably cause even Lil Wayne cannot deny the presence of Jay-Z. Solid track though.

6. Roman Reloaded (feat. WEEZY BABYY!! HAAA!!)

It sounded ok until the Chris Bosh line. That may go down in history as one of the lamest bars ever thought, written, and spoken. Granted, Bosh is not one of the toughest guys you will come around and no, he should not have let himself get over-emotional (seriously, the team will have plenty of chances for a championship). But the inanity of that line crushed my opinion of the song. The Weezy verses were good but ultimately not enough to hide the Chris Bosh line.

7. Champion (feat. Nas, Drake, & Young Jeezy)

This is what they call a colossal disappointment beyond incomprehensible measures. How can you get four good artists on a track together and still sound mediocre? Forget about Nicki, Drake, and Jeezy. I kinda expected it from them. But Nas? The homie Nas? God’s Son? He was embarrassing on this joint, straight up. He didn’t sound like he cared one bit. Damn. I thought I could get a break but now I gotta trudge through the rest of this album with no real hope anymore.

8. Right By My Side (feat. Chris Brown)

Sounds like an old Rihanna track. But I don’t find this a bad thing at all, son. Definitely a breath of fresh air after the garbage I had to trudge through. Plus Chris Brown sticks to singing for once.

9. Sex In The Lounge (feat. Bobby V. & Lil Wayne)

Two tracks with Lil Wayne? That’s cute. But otherwise, this track sounds generic. At least the last one had some good vibes. This is just another one of those filler singles just to get more airplay.

10. Starships

DAMN. I’M FINALLY HALFWAY THROUGH THIS SH*T.  Not the type of song I would sing at all. I mean, what person is gonna look at me like I am a strong heterosexual male with good taste if I walk around singing, “STARSHIPS ARE MEANT TO FLYYY-YYY”. Sorry, no space cadet badge here, Nicki.

11. Pound the Alarm

Okay, one thing I find interesting is how this album has thus far segued from hardcore bizarre rap to dancefloor pop music. It’s like I ended up hearing a different album. As far as the song goes, it… is not a hit. It sounds ordinary. Yeah, just ordinary.

12. Whip It

Too boring, didn’t care.

13. Automatic

Shoot. Now I’m really starting to think that Nicki made two different albums and put both of them together. I have been hearing dance music for a while now. Song was again, nothing special.

14. Beautiful Sinner

And I skipped this one.

15. Marilyn Monroe

OK, I have a lot of problems with this joint. First of all, why is this called “Marilyn Monroe”? What relation does Marilyn Monroe have with this song? Is Nicki just doing the Lil B thing or something? Second of all, I am damn sure that the producers of this song must have wanted to hear some Disney pop singer or some American Idol finalist on this. Like, they sent the beat to the wrong person. There is no way that this track deserves to be mentioned either now or later. It is godawful beyond human comprehension. I wasted some good seconds of my life man.

16. Young Forever

Wow. If you want to know my opinion of the song, it is pretty much the opinion of the last song.

17. Fire Burns

Better than the other two. At least it is somewhat ok. But it is still slow and irrelevant. And I THINK you can guess my opinion of the album by this point.

18. Gun Shot (feat. Beenie Man)

Damn, I saw Beenie Man’s name and thought, “Finally. Back to some hardcore music.” I could not be more wrong.

19. Stupid Hoe

A word about this joint:

In life, there is always some negative to balance the positive and vice versa. One must take the good with the bad. Some things, however, are not meant to exist. Some things are just so disrespectful beyond comparison that it is amazing to see how the creator could have thought of such a thing. Or rather, what the creator was smoking when he or she created it. This song… This song is like an orchestra of all the soundtracks and special effects from the Transformer movies colliding together to create this one harsh and unbearable sound that wants to clobber our brains. This sounds like a metal drug addict that wants to rip my balls off. Word, Hitler would have wanted to jump on the remix. Son, this song is an embarrassment to human society and any living being with dignity and self-respect.

IN CONCLUSION

This may be the most bipolar album I have ever heard in my life. I don’t think even Game can compete. I think it is pretty cool that the album was able to segue into multiple genres without seeming intrusive. So cohesion is a plus point. But that is for the sound and not for Ms. Thang. The problem is Nicki is not sure who she wants to be. One minute, she switches flows and personalities, and the next, she is singing and dancing like any other pop singer out there. And even Nicki seems sure of who she wants to be (for that one particular song), she cannot deliver on point. Her rapping is not as interesting as it used to be and her singing is still immature.

Another huge problem is that the album has nothing special whatsoever. No matter how good the flow is, the album is ordinary. I don’t see anything that really separates it from other rap/dance/”whatever the f*ck her genre is” albums. But maybe that might be Drake’s fault because after hearing Take Care, I cannot fathom listening to Tha Carter IV.

Overall, however, the problem lies ultimately with Nicki. With “Super Bass”, it was a perfect introduction because it was poppy but it had her special quirkiness. But here, she is having trouble deciding whether to be weird or not and ultimately, she ends up being mundane. Maybe Drake should executive produce her next album.

Schoolboy’s Score: 2.5/10

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