Even in a year when Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Eminem and even the Black Eyed Peas have dropped new albums, Nicki Minaj has quickly and quietly become one of the best female hip-hop MCs and her album is one of the most anticipated albums of 2010.
Perhaps it is because of the lack of quality female rappers currently in the game that Minaj sounds so fresh, or perhaps she is just that good. No matter how much you like rappers like Nas and Jay-Z, a female rapper like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, or now Nicki Minaj adds balance to the game.
Pink Friday succeeds and slightly fails as well. But when it succeeds, it is fantastic. When it fails, well it ain’t that good. It starts off with a hell of a bang with I’m the Best and Roman’s Revenge. Seems a bit conceited to start off her album with a track called I’m the Best, but hey, there’s really no other competition from any other female MCs and as I have said before, she can rival some of these male so-called MCs.
So by the time the first song is done, your like OK, she is pretty good. The second song, Roman’s Revenge is clearly the best of the album, thanks to some of Minaj’s illest verses ever, and a return to form by Eminem. Read our previous review for the crazy lyrics she spits while dissing Lil Kim.
The first problem here is her best song is the second of the album, so it just can’t sustain after the lyrical beauty spat in Roman’s Revenge. The second problem is that she is all over the place – hip-hop MC, beautiful singer and somewhere in between as well as a little splash of reggae. She has to narrow it down a bit and find her sound.
Another classic song on the album is Blazin featuring Kanye West. Much like Lil Kim, Minaj is at her best beside another great male rapper such as Kanye. This song is sick and it showcases the many different styles Mianj has – for instance her first verse where she spits fast and slow, while rapping and singing, and all over a sick beat which loosely samples Don’t You by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club soundtrack. She spits lines like “Hope you can take the Heat like Lebron.” Nice.
Don’t get me wrong, this album is far from perfect. She isn’t quite there yet and a full listen to the album shows that improvement is needed. But I think Minaj knows this and is merely testing her style and developing it while giving props to all the women out there who are underrepresented.
“Cause even when my daddy was on crack I was crack/ Now the whole album is crack you aint gotta skip a track/ I aint gotta get a plaque, I aint gotta get awards I just walk up out the door all the girls will applaud/ All the girls will come in as long as they understand that I’m fighting for the girls that never thought they could win/ Cause before they could begin you told them it was the end but I am here to reverse the curse that they lived in/ Got two bones to pick I’m only going to choose one/You might get addressed on the second album which means you can breathe until I mothafucking say so/ To all my bad bitches I can see your halo.”
Still for every amazing verse, there is a weak one like “you ain’t my son, you my motherfucken step son.” Furthermore, I may be overexaggerating this, but I thought the best line in the entire album belonged not to Minaj but Kanye when he said “Nicki what you think, I got two White Russians but we also need some drinks.”
In the end, while it’s by no means a bad album, it certainly isn’t the best. Minaj is a talented young artist, there is no doubting that, and with a bit of improvement, she could truly turn into a force to be reckoned with.
‘Pink Friday’ was released on November 22nd, 2010