Album Review: Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday

 |  November 23, 2010
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To say that Nicki Minaj is intriguing is an understatement.  Aligning herself with one of strongest forces in the game (Young Money), Ms. Minaj has singlehandedly reshaped the perception of female emcees.  While proving time and time again that she is capable of stealing the spotlight away from artists on their own tracks, she has yet to venture out on her own and establish herself as a self-sustaining entity.  Nicki’s debut, Pink Friday, highlights many of her notable assets, but for better or for worse, the ferocious vixen shows off a side seldom seen.

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Nicki has one of the most unique voices in the game; in fact, she has many of the most unique vocal mannerisms ever captured on record.  Capable of shifting her tones, she accentuates between an effeminate high pitch and a monstrous baritone on tracks such as “Roman’s Revenge” and “Blazin.”  Opening with the worthy intro, “I’m the Best,” Nicki digs deep to reveal personal issues over Kane Beatz’ uber-poppy production (“even when my daddy was on crack, I was crack“).  “Here I Am” is a standout rap-centric song that’s also introspective in its own right.  The production on “Roman’s Revenge” is lackluster for a Swizz Beatz production, but has the ability to grow on you with each listen.  Despite Nicki showing her competitive nature, Eminem gets the best of her with an array of humorous puns.  “Did It On ‘Em” is a keeper and an excellent showing of Nicki’s lyricism and street sensible Hip Hop mentality.  Although the production is nothing out of the ordinary on “Blazin,” Nicki manages to one-up Kanye West with hilarious drop punchlines and an impeccable flow.

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At other times, Minaj falls short due to her uncanny desire to make pop songs.  “Right Thru Me” is uninspiring, but shows Nicki is more than braggadocio.  The Rihanna assisted “Fly” once again captures Nicki’s ability to stay on topic and has all the makings of a Top 40 hit.  Yet, the will.i.am collaboration, “Check it Out,” is nothing more than a pop bastardization of “Video Killed The Radio Star.”  Fun as it may be, the quality of this cookie-cutter manufacturing of song deteriorates the overall quality of Pink Friday.  “Save Me” may be the most commendable endeavor on Pink Friday.  Unlike the previously mentioned tracks, “Save Me” appears uncontrived and comes across as organic even though Young Money enthusiasts will realize she is out of her comfort zone.  Despite the skillful display of rapping, the Annie Lennox sampled “Your Love” is a bizarre miss on Pink Friday. The main low point of the song is the Auto-Tune laced chorus that once again places Nicki out of her element.  The closing track, “Last Chance,” isn’t much more progressive even with Nicki’s attempt to blend genres.

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On third-person reflection, “Dear Old Nicki,” Ms. Minaj asserts, “I needed to grow and I needed to know that there’s some things inside me that I needed to show.”  On Pink Friday Nicki goes beyond rapping and attempts to show that she is capable of being emotional while crafting hit songs.  When she is up against established acts such as Eminem and Kanye West, Nicki Minaj continues to raise the bar.  However, when left on her own, she shows her versatility at the sake of sacrificing the flow that brought her to global prominence.  Pink Friday is a courageous effort and shows that Nicki doesn’t wish to be pigeonholed as maniac emcee we sometimes conjure her up to be.  Yet, Pink Friday falls short of expectations and is little more than a full-fledged pop album.

25mics_phixr
2.5/5

Purchase Pink Friday on iTunes

  • CEO

    From her first mixtape Rappin over the LL Cool J beat “Doin it” with Jadakiss. Now doing songs with Will.iam in the worlds eyes shes getting better but I like the old Nicky. I can see why this joint got a 2.5 and i dont have to listen to it to agree. Damn shame

  • Neylia

    This album is not good. She does as decent job on other peoples songs but her bars are weak and she has alot of filler.

  • Hotboy3442

    Plain and and simple. This album is GARBAGE!!!! Have you heard this shit…I can't believe she expected people to feel this…So dissappointing. Classic case of an emcee build up to be something there not. She can hit you with a couple of hit lines…as long as she's on someone else's joint, but when she got to stand on her own two….Straight bullshit emerges.