Album Review: Pink Friday, Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj

1. Roman Holiday, 2. Come On A Cone, 3. I Am Your Leader, 4. Beez In The Trap, 5. HOV Lane, 6. Roman Reloaded, 7. Champion, 8. Right By My Side, 9. Sex In The Lounge, 10. Starships, 11. Pound The Alarm, 12. Whip It, 13. Automatic, 14. Beautiful Sinner, 15. Marilyn Monroe, 16. Young Forever, 17. Fire Burns, 18. Gun Shot, 19. Stupid Hoe, 20. Turn Me On, 21. Va Va Voom, 22. Masquerade

It’s no surprise to me that I’m finally enjoying Nicki Minaj’s music, ever since being featured in David Guetta’s Turn Me On, it’s gone dance-y, just the way I like it! Then again I never listened to her whole first album, so I wouldn’t know what her music sounded like before, but as far as I’m concerned she’s known strictly as a rap artist. Now, she manages to still give rap, but also R&B and pop, all in one album.

The album starts off with the pure rap songs (the first seven), most of which deal with being the bad-bitch-boss-lady who’s made it big. That’s the album’s first theme: success. It’s apparent in Come On A Cone, I Am Your Leader, Beez In The Trap, HOV Lane, and Champion. Humbled much? Not Nicki Minaj.

We briefly hit a couple of R&B tunes, Right By My Side and Sex In The Lounge, with the former being the better of the two and also featuring Chris Brown. Then, kind of unexpectedly and out of nowhere, we arrive at pop-dance tracks, and the second main theme of the album: just having fun and dancing the night away. Starships, the current single, is addicting (to me at least). Pound The Alarm, has a little rap and a little Pitbull (I think), whether it’s him or not, this song needs a remix with him pronto. Whip It and Automatic are enjoyable, but the previous two songs are just slightly better. Nicki explains that Roman, one of her alter egos, comes out when she’s angry (I did my research), so it’s fitting that one of the lines in the first song, Roman Holiday, is “Take your medication, Roman/Take a short vacation, Roman” considering that the album heads towards a much happier, dance driven place.

Back to R&B. Beautiful Sinner is a song that should feature Rihanna singing the non-rap sections, as the lyrics sound like her kind of content. Marilyn Monroe is Nicki at her most vulnerable spot, I think, as she recognizes that even the great can fall. Young Forever shows more vulnerability as she remembers an old flame, whom she still holds in the same light as the last time she saw him. A few lack luster songs follow, before finishing on a good note with Va Va Voom and Masquerade.

Some music fans will not be happy with the reduced focus on the rap genre, but others will be happy to see some more mainstream songs. Even Nicki Minaj admits this as she says “I guess I went commercial” on the track Roman Reloaded, yet she also says that “Bang, my shit bang, it bang bang/B-b-bang, my shit bang it bang bang.” You can’t please everyone unfortunately. I have to point out that even in the R&B inspired and pop inclined songs, there’s still some rap in them; that remains an integral part of the album throughout. Overall, I enjoyed most of the songs on this album, which surprised me. Album rating: 4/5.

Favorite Song: Beautiful Sinner

“And maybe I’m naive for loving you
You’re a cheat and a liar
But tonight you’re everything I desire
You beautiful sinner
I love your wicked heart
Beautiful sinner
It’s such a work of art”

Least Favorite Song: Champion [ft. Nas, Drake, & Young Jeezy]

Other Songs I Enjoyed: Roman Reloaded, Right By My Side, Starships, Pound The Alarm, Marilyn Monroe, Va Va Voom, Masquerade

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