Monday, December 13, 2010
If this is Pink Friday, then I hope Monday comes soon
Running Time: 50:59
For many musicians, the struggle to hit it big can last a lifetime. For Nicki Minaj, all it took was a few mixtapes, a dash of personality, and a little luck.
Minaj started gathering steam in 2009 with her Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape before hitting it big with Young Money Entertainment.
That led to the release of her solo debut, Pink Friday. With an eclectic image and a major wave of hype, Minaj looks to hurdle her way to the top of the hip-hop landscape. But is Pink Friday really all that? In a word, no.
After having heard the album, I feel that most of the hype about Minaj is wrapped up in her marketing, wardrobe, and image. It's easy to see that's she's trying to portray the tough badass girl, but that's a trail that has been blazed before.
Her lyrics make it seem like she's all concerned about image. On "I'm the Best," she's bragging that she's got two shows in Brooklyn and Dallas, before flying off to the Buckingham Palace. On "Did It on 'Em," she says that if she had a dick, she would pull it out and piss on them. Who are they? Even after reading the lyrics I'm not totally sure, but you can be damn certain they're going to get pissed on.
But Minaj does have her moments. She looks back at her former self on "Dear Old Nicki" while she's trying to convince herslef to keep going on "Save Me." Her beats are bland, basic club techno at best and downright grating at worst.
The absolute bottom of the barrel comes on Check it Out with will.i.am. from the Black Eyed Peas. Annoying repetitive autotune vocals, with an aggravating bouncy beat makes me want to rage.
I will admit that Minaj is able to establish a decent flow for the most part. She really gets it going on tracks like "Last Chance" and "Dear Old Nicki." But in a year that saw album releases from Nas, Kanye, and Big Boi, you could do much better for your dollar.
The guest spots are decent, but can't disguise the fact that Minaj has trouble standing on her own. Eminem has a solid verse on "Roman's Revenge," but ultimately doesn't add much to the mix. I've honestly never thought Drake was that great of a rapper. Rihanna and Kanye have the best guest spots, on "Fly" and "Blazin" respectively. Will.i.am, as I have stated before, could and should fall off a cliff with all due haste.
So ultimately, this isn't a horrible CD. It's definitely listenable and there are a few tracks I can definitely dig but Minaj at this point is basically a one trick pony. There's not much variation in her formula from song to song, and honstely Eve and Missy Elliot have done this type of thing better. I see some potential in Minaj, but it's going to take some major changes in direction for her to get there.