Nicki Minaj has had a very illustrious career so far. She’s released many high charting singles and a platinum selling debut album. With her sophomore album the follow up to her 2010 release “Pink Friday” we see Nicki Minaj crossing boundaries most people in the Hip-Hop community would describe as “selling out” at the same time staying somewhat true to the culture enlisting acts like 2 Chainz, Cam’ron, Beenie Man, Nas, Drake, Lil Wayne,Young Jeezy, Bobby V, Chris Brown and Rick Ross for the album. After the break read what I have to say about Nicki’s latest project.
1. “Roman Holiday” - We heard this song for the first time at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Back then I thought the song was pretty bad, after hearing the CDQ my opinion on it hasn’t changed. I just thought the chorus was really corny, everything from the hook to the beat. I rate this song really low. Recycle bin material.
2. “Come On A Cone” – First thing I actually refer to as a song on the album. Hitboy killed the beat. Nicki held her ground on it. Killing her bars over such a sick beat I doubt she could have gone wrong on this. As usual she brags about how her sh*t is so much better than “other B*tches”. Only bad thing about this song is when she started singing “D*ck in your face” that gave me a bad mental picture.
3. “I Am Your Leader” feat. Cam’ron & Rick Ross – Nicki Minaj enlists Hitboy again for another beat, once again he doesn’t disappoint. We get fresh verse from cats outside her camp. Ross spits his usual subject matter but what really stood out on this was Cam’ron’s verse man really murdered it. The hook could have been better but other than that, this is a pretty good song.
4. “Beez In The Trap” feat. 2 Chainz – I still haven’t gotten my head round why everyone is featuring Tity Boi aka 2 Chainz on their records. Kenoe produced the beat which wasn’t to spectacular. Nicki’s first verse wasn’t so impressive so when 2 Chainz’s verse came up it seemed like Nas wrote his sh*t cause he absolutely murdered it compared to what we heard earlier. Nicki came back on her second verse though I give her that. The fact that she sounded like a grade 3 kid on the hook didn’t help things. Decent track one you can look out for.
5. “Hov Lane” – At first when I saw the title for this in my head I was like “nawww not another song suckin’ off Hov” so I clearly wasn’t looking forward to hearing this. When I pressed play first thing I heard was some N64, Street fighter sounding beat. That didn’t help sh*t but when I heard Nicki start spitting I got really hooked she really killed her verses the hook was on point verses too suddenly I started feeling the beat too. The song ended up like nothing it would sound like. Great song another song you should check out.
6. “Roman Reloaded” feat. Lil Wayne – This was the song Nicki dropped after much criticism from her “Starships” single. Honestly this song has some of the corniest punchlines I’ve ever heard , even my 12 year old sister makes fun of that “Bite me, Apple sign” punchline. The beat wasn’t good at all to me. Weezy did his thing on this though “My ex want wanna work it out, b*tch try yoga” you can tell he thought that out unlike his infamous The Motto line “Wish a N**ga would like a tree in this b*tch”. Overall i’d say this was an average song I can’t call it wack mainly because of the humorous punchlines.
7. “Champion” feat. Nas, Drake and Young Jeezy – This was the song most Hip-Hop heads were looking out for on this album. T-Minus came through with the instrumental. I expected Drake to be on the hook but I wasn’t really disappointed she wasn’t bad on it at all. Drake spazzed on this one, Jeezy sounded like he had the flu or had a clogged throat to me he sounded off and well Nas as expected killed his verse. This is another track to look out for.
8. “Right By My Side” feat. Chris Brown – Another great tune, they usually are when Breezy is featured on it. Nicki did really well on the hook, Chris Brown was good on his verse. There really is much to say about this song, it’s just one of them songs you’ll either love or hate.
9. “Sex In The Lounge” feat. Lil Wayne & Bobby V – Been a minute since I last saw a big Bobby V feature Nicki was good on her verse. Lil Wayne dirty talk was great, i mean his verse was really good. Bobby V did his think on the chorus. Good song overall.
10. “Starships” - This was the first of many pop songs on the album. When this song first leaked, Nicki got some serious backlash from Hip-Hop fans. Inside I knew all big artists need that crossover record to boost the album sales. But on this I thought Nicki went a bit overboard. Other than that I believe the song served it’s purpose it got her all over the radio.
11. “Pound The Alarm” – This song is anything but Hip-Hop, It’ll kill the clubs and radio for sure. I listen to my fair share of pop so I know Nicki’s got something with this song.
12. “Whip It” – Once again another commercial song, It should get a good amount of spins over the radio over the year.
13. “Automatic” – By now you should have noticed the trend, Nicki continues going down the pop route on this. Somewhere down the line she must have forgotten she was a rapper.
14. “Beautiful Sinner” – One of the commercial songs I actually liked on the album. Alex da Kid did his thing on the beat. The thing I like the most about this is the beat.
15 “Marilyn Monroe” – Nicki tones down the whole pop persona on this. This is actually a good song J.R Rotem did his thing on the beat I know for a fact I won’t be listening to this much though.
16. “Young Forever” – Nicki sings on throughout this. To be honest the first time I heard this I skipped it. Maybe it’s because the whole “Young Forever” thing is super corny or I hate hearing Nicki hit them high notes like Rihanna, either way I didn’t like the song much. I assume it will appeal to the intended audience.
17. “Fire Burns” – Nicki again doesn’t rap on this but unlike the previous song it’s a song I feel all her fan-base can vibe to. All females at least. Cool beat, regular subject matter girls love to moan about. Nicki clearly knew what she was doing while making this joint.
18. “Gun Shot” feat. Beenie Man – Well Nicki broke the pop streak with this dance hall inspired track. I’m not from the Caribbean’s so this type of music is not my forte, I had no clue what they were saying in the chorus but it sure did sound catchy. Overall I think it’s a good so for what it is.
19. “Stupid H*e” – This was the final song on the album and the first single released by Nicki. Everything about this song was horrible. The beat sounds like some cheap instrumental I could steal off Soundcloud. The hook was horrible and dumb as hell. She came off as a “Stupid H*e”. After hearing the album I believe this was the worst choice for a single.
- The main fault anyone can see on this album is the amount of pop records she put on it. For someone who claimed to be the “Rap b*tch nightmare” her album came off as something Katy Perry would release. Nicki basically divided her album into 2 halves, tracks 1-9 were either somewhat all hip-hop then 10-18 were all commercial/pop. Usually you should expect one or two crossover tracks, on this we got 8 of them.
- Another thing I found bad about the album was the choice of songs to put out. Before the official release Nicki officially released songs like “Stupid Hoe” and “Roman Reloaded” . If she kept those and released “I Am Your Leader” and “Sex In The Lounge” the whole aura before it’s release could have been completely different.
+Nicki’s choice of features overall were on point. She got the likes of Nas, 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Drake who are some of the hottest artist out right now. Getting Cam’ron on the record was a wise choice too seeing that he had the best verse on the album.
+ Another positive thing I noticed about the album was on the production side Hit-boy was really good on this album his beats for “Come On A Cone” and “I Am Your Leader” were straight and getting Red One and Alex da Kid for the more radio friendly songs was a great decision.
6 OUT OF 10