Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj

Is there such a thing as bubble gum rap? If so, Nicki Minaj falls under this label. The lyrics can be pretty silly, very catchy, over the top, and placed alongside a lovely beat. As I've said before, the Nicki Minaj praise train passed me by. I have heard a few tracks she is featured on, but was never impressed. There seemed to lack an originality in her boldness. But, I decided I should give her full length album a try before pushing her aside.

I like Minaj's feminist perspective. She's brass, she's loud, she womanly, she's everything you want in a strong female. She sings about wishing she had a dick so she could pull it out and piss all over. She calls herself a cunt and a bitch. She's sexually open, but innocent at the same time. She manages the yin and yang so many female rappers seem to just ignore. In fact, most of the time she seems a little like Lauryn Hill with a bit more sexuality.

Many of the songs on Minaj's album are sentimental. I was surprised at the heart on her sleeve element to so many of these songs. Minaj is focused on the change she's seen within herself. She's honest about where she comes from, how she got here, and where she wants to go. I admire her strenght and sensitivity. But, at times, the music feels a little too cliched and her voice just not quite strong enough.

I am a little confused by the presence of Eminem on this album. Even more annoyed at his little rant/rap on 'Roman's Revenge.' I am not sure how Eminem is even relevant these days? At one point he shouts 'faggot' in what appears to be a failed attempt at being shocking... or, more likely, just to have something to rhyme with 'magnet.' His presence is offensive on many levels. And, really destroys what could have been an interesting track.

My favorite track on the album is 'Blazin' which features Kanye West. It samples the fantastic 80s track from Simple Minds 'Don't You Forget About Me.' Actually, 'Blazin' is the second track on the album to sample from an 80s song. This will always be favorable in my book.

The album starts out harsh. Minaj wants you to know she's tough and not one to be fucked with. But, after three tracks she mellows out. Minaj shares her soft side. Her honesty appears. It's a sentimental journey. It's an uneven journey. But, one that took me by surprise. Worth a listen.


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