Nicki Minaj is hands down one of the biggest rap artist around. Not only is she backed by Lil’ Wayne and the Young Money camp, but she also has an army of fans (The Barbies) that hold on to her every word. With only two mix tapes under her belt she has managed to collaborate with some of the music industry’s biggest names. Finally after all the hype, Nicki’s solo debut “Pink Friday” has arrived. So is Minaj hip hop’s new Queen or just a Barbie wannabe?
On paper Pink Friday has everything that you would want in an album. It boast production credits featuring some of the biggest names in hip-hop including, Swizz Beatz, Will-I-Am, J.R. Rotem and T-minus. Nicki’s album also features Hip Hop heavy weights such as Kanye West, Eminem, Rihanna and Drake. Adding all those elements together Pink Friday should have been an amazing listening experience. Unfortunately amazing isn’t the word I would use to describe it, more like a borderline catastrophe. Pink Friday contains 13 tracks, 50-minutes of predictable punch lines, third rate production, and singing that is all over the place. Overall Pink Friday is an disappointment from the Young Money camp.
The first song entitled “I’m The Best” sounds like a song you’d hear on a young child’s video game, yet it ties in with the whole Barbie persona. This track is also the perfect example of a potential good song ruined by Nicki’s singing on the hook (a continued trend that lets this project down). “Moment For Life” “Dear Old Nicki” “Here I Am” and “Last Change”, where Nicki also sings her little pink heart out, only reinforces the fact that singing isn’t her forte. Unless you somehow enjoy Nicki’s attempt to do a “Drake” on this album you will be less than pleased.
Another problem with Pink Friday, regardless of its mainstream success with the singles “Your Love” “Check It Out” and “Right thru Me”, is its extremely horrible attempts at a pop culture cross over. Maybe the aim was for radio play, which they achieved with “Your Love”, but on this album these singles feel like poorly placed fillers and not the money makers they’ve been praised to be.
Time and time again the word lyricists is used to describe Minaj, but a lack of thought provoking lyrics will have you ready to revoke that title, I know I have. On such songs as “Roman Revenge” featuring Eminem, she is easily out performed, and sadly not even Eminem’s incredible verse can save this song from lackluster production. At one point I felt as if they were rapping over a nail being ran down a chalk board.
Nicki does come through on “Blazin” with Kanye West. The two bring their A-game over a great up-tempo beat. “Fly” is another song that should get an honorable mention for well… not being terrible. “Did It On Em” is decent, yet anyone can tell by the sorry excuse for a hook that Nicki may need a ghostwriter.
Hardcore Barbies will find nothing wrong with Pink Friday since they’re color blind and can only see in pink. However, for those picking this up just to see if it lives up to the hype you’ll be left with lasting negative impression. And with all the money heaved at this project failure is the last thing I would expect. Perhaps the bar was set to high and Nicki felt the pressure. Living up to her fan’s expectation and all the attention she’s received before even dropping her own album is a heavy burden to carry, but if Pink Friday was intended to cement her name in the Hip-Hop hall of fame then Nicki Minaj dropped the ball.
I give Pink Friday a 5/10
Travis Phillips, Hip Hop Contributor