Nicki Minaj’s New Album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. Insane and Colorful As Ever


Nicki Minaj is nuts
. We know that. Alter Egos, strange Grammy performances that potentially offend religions groups, 3 ft. tall wigs and a rear end whose authenticity has lead to hours of heated debate. We love Nicki; so much so that we make allowances for the ridiculous, the terrifying, and the vulgar. But we have good reason; the woman can churn out mindless dance-floor numbers with the same speed and skill as she can churn out hard-hitting rap songs. Minaj isn’t just talented, she’s versatile- almost as versatile as her wardrobe.
 
 
Minaj’s latest album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”is a clear reflection of her wide ambitions and various genres.There’s some manic Roman raves and rants, some classic Young Money beats, a few softer, slower pop songs (even a ballad or two) and then a handful of generic, catchy club songs. There’s something for every kind of Nicki Minaj ‘Barbie’.
 
 
Her album opens with “Roman Holiday”, the very same from her infamous Grammy performance earlier this year. The song features her alter ego, Roman Zolanski and his mother, Martha and is a mix of beats in the style of Missy Elliot, punctuated with random belts of ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ and talk of exorcism and dungeons by the loony Roman himself. 
 
 
Nonetheless, “Roman Holiday” doesn’t set the tone for the album, excluding perhaps “Come On A Cone” which does entail Roman-esque warbling and unexpected bursts of song. The next few songs like “I Am Your Leader”, “Beez In A Trap” and “Champion” are much more along the lines of her Young Money comrades— good raps and strong beats.
 
The album then changes lanes in favour of the more pop-minded listeners. It is evident that Minaj is still experimenting. Songs like “Sex In The Lounge” and “Fire Burns” are a throwback to the pop songs of four or five years ago by artists like Bobby Valentino, Pretty Ricky and Fabolous. Meanwhile, songs like “Gunshot” and “Young Forever” ring undoubtedly of Rihanna and the Chris Brown duet “Right By Me” is indecipherable from any other Chris Brown duet ever recorded. Her poorest song on the album, nonetheless, is “Marilyn Monroe” which sees her lamenting the difficulties of being talented in the melodramatic manner of teenage girl, say Jojo at 16.
 
 
Last come her club mixes. These are all are generic, catchy and similar to every other Katy Perry or David Guetta hit. Yes, they’re destined for the top of the charts, soon to be heard from every car’s radio and every club’s DJ booth.
 
 
Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is a jumble of singles, more a mix tape than a themed album.Rolling Stone called it a ‘purist’s nightmare’ and other reviewers labelled it a confused mix of other artists. It’s true that one can find influences from all the big names of music today in Minaj’s songs: Rihanna, Lil Wayne, Drake, Katy Perry, Missy Elliot etc. The album has little consistency or theme and ‘Roman’ doesn’t feature nearly as often as one might expect, given the title (possibly a good thing?). But the album holds something for every kind of Nicki fan. What can one expect from an artist as colourful as she? She refuses be boxed into any one genre and has the talent to try them all out.
 
 
In many ways still experimenting and finding her true footing, Minaj has yet to reach her peak.