Pink Friday Album Review

Nov 22, 2010 @ 10:39 am | By TheFeministGriote | 10 Comments
I don’t knock the sister because I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on her just being the poster child for female rap in 2009 and 2010, But in terms of the preservation and the continuation and expansion of the art form of hip-hop music and culture, I can’t see what she’s creating…when she goes in the studio. Meanwhile, females like myself we in the underground paying dues. Like, we’re committed.” (“My Mic Sounds Nice”)-Tiye Phoenix femcee her thoughts on Nicki Minaj

Anyone who creates an alter ego based off of the famed and troubled academy award winning child rapist director Roman Polanski deserves 15 minutes of my attention a la Nicki Minaj. If Drake is the king of the 2009-2010 hip-hop class then his queen is definitely Nicki Minaj. These label mates have been on every hot track and have collaborated with hip-hop giants that most rappers can only dream of being on wax with. Nicki Minaj without not even having an official studio album managed to have beef with hip-hop veteran Lil Kim who is making it a point to throw major shade at her self proclaimed #1 fan Nicki Minaj. Minaj is the only audible femcee voice in the mainstream right now and this Tuesday 11/23 her first studio album will be released. An album that hip-hop fans and critics can pick apart, praise, bury or scrutinize!

In a post-Lauryn Hill world  Minaj can either be seen as part of the problem or the solution in hip-hop. The album “Pink Friday” is a very interesting listen. Musically the sound is everywhere. It goes from extreme pop to more middle of the road hip-hop sometimes the shift is often jarring. Due to the sudden shifts in sound the album lacks cohesiveness. On the song “did it on’em” produced by Bangladesh the song has a very gritty sound to it . Minaj talks about her proverbial dick and about pissing on her female haters. On this track the character Nicki doesn’t appear. Minaj is trying very hard to come off hardcore and be taken seriously, this track is definitely trying to woo male listeners, but then she spits a line like “nappy headed hoes need a perm-anator” definitely not the type of line that hip-hop classics are made of. Then of course the song “Roman’s Revenge” which is suppose to be the anchor of the album and the follow up to her verse from the song “Monster,” where her alter ego Roman Zolanski takes over and officially settles the score with all her naysayers, but the song fails to solidify Minaj as a battle rapper who can murder you on a track with lyrics like ,”I’m a bad bitch, I’m a cunt, and I’ll kick that hoe, punt,” am I suppose to respect or fear Minaj lyrically or be grossly offended that a woman would refer to her own self as a cunt? The absolutely worst song on the album is the one produced by over paid over hyped “Check it out” which is a cover of the Buggles song “video killed the radio star” the irony that Minaj and Will.i. am are on this track together is both problematic and comical, because it can easily be said that Minaj and and there made for “radio hip-hop” is what’s killing hip-hop and the artistry, but that is an entirely different subject and blog post.

Minaj definitely manages to be a little transparent  and allow the listener to catch a glimpse of the woman Onika. In the song “I’m the best,” Minaj alludes to the youtube video where she is talking about having performed oral on rapper Remy Ma,“it was back in ’07 did a couple of tapes did a couple DVD’s made a couple mistakes” sounds like an admission of guilt to me. The most vulnerable Nicki shines through not on the obvious radio friendly love songs like “Right through me,” or “Your love,” but on the songs like ” Save me” where she sings exclusively on the track and the song “Dear Old Nicki,” Minaj admits to losing her sense of self and voice for the pursuit of fame. It is obvious that Minaj pays attention to her own criticism, but the album goes back and forth between her singing and rapping and attempting to be serious and then ultra cartoonish. This album sounds more like a mixtape for it has no definitive sound or methodology behind the picking of the tracks. “Pink Friday” is a heap of tracks that doesn’t flow well seamlessly. Nicki has way too many punch lines that lack effectiveness. Minaj is a student of Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown, and Lil Kim and her voice gets lost in all the persona’s that she is trying to embody. Die hard Barbie fans will be satisfied, but if Minaj doesn’t find a definitive voice by her second album, I don’t see her fans sticking with her that long being that most of her fans are into the character “Nicki” rather than her craft. This album is definitely not for a real hip-hop head. It’s the type of album that you will run through in an hour listen to it for a couple of days then forget you even own it.

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What do you think of “Pink Friday?”

Categories: Mind Over Chatter

10 Responses to “ Pink Friday Album Review ”

  1. lutze, have you ever thought about being an album critic professionally? This was an amazing, yet blunt album review! After reading this, i REFUSE to partake in her coonery. I find that we so easily fuel these artist’s coonery just because the hook is catchy, and the beat is nice. I will not be a part of the problem, but the solution, i’ll take my outdated, yet meaningful old school hip hop & r&b for 500 alex trebek!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Fembassy, L. Segu. L. Segu said: my official album review of "pink friday" […]

  3. Great album review! I think your criticisms are fair at times, but you make it clear you are not a fan of Nicki. I think she can rap, but I don’t think she’s a lyricist. The album does lack a theme, which I think was evident by the title. My other criticism of Nicki is her over use of punchlines and lack of storytelling. Besides “Dear Nicki” I don’t think any of her songs told a story from beginning to end. And that is a huge part of hip-hop to me. I wish you would have pulled out some of her more complex lyrics where she is actually spitting. For example, the first few bars on “Blazin” she ripped it to me. That and “Fly” are the best songs on the album. Why you didn’t mention them girl? lol. Overall it is not a classic album. I appreciate Minaj for her drive and hustle. And she makes good music. But I do think post-Barbie Nicki was more raw. Cue “Still I Rise,” “Autobiography,” “Niggas,” “Go Hard,” etc. I think people expect Nicki to be Lauryn-like because she’s the only female in the game. It’s an unfair expectation. Others are distracted by her animation. Whereas for me, the animation doesn’t bother me. It’s entertaining. It will be interesting to see where her career goes from here. I appreciate your POV, and sorry for my long comment!

  4. MsPowerBitchPR | November 22, 2010 7:49 pm

    Great Review, Although I have not listened to the album entirely the bits and pieces I have heard are not horrible, I have listened to Nicki since she had mixtapes and personally that is the Nicki that I can vibe with. The persona she has created now is so “Hollywood” but she is Branding herself and being smart. As I write this I am looking at 106th & park and she has done what she came to do. I do agree that Nicki Minaj isn’t for the “old” head hip hop fans but she is what is Now. You did a very good album review and yes it is evident you are not a Barbie Fan lol.

  5. I respect your objectivity… Great Column Lutz if I may say so myself. (Nicki Fan)

  6. Nice album review, I’d have to say I disagree though. I think what people are missing with Nicki Minaj is that she’s intentionally not being a traditional female hip hop mcee. She’s not supposed to be the next Lil Kim or even on the pop side, the next LadY GaGa. She’s a fusion, blending so many different sounds, voices, and beat textures that it makes her an anomaly in the industry. She’s going to be incredibly successful because her music transcends one genre. That’s what has me amazed and why she continues to earn my respect. People who are expecting her to be the “next” whatever are going to be disappointed because she is purposely blazing her own category. She’s an artist, not a copy cat and even though I feel like she has tremendous room to grow as an artist, her music still catches my attention. I agree w/ Bene, if she can infuse more storytelling into her pieces, I think she’ll be a stronger lyricist. Right now its just a lot off funny, conceited punch lines. Not complaining, but again there’s room for growth. We’ll see though! I don’t regret purchasing the album at all. I wish her growth and more success.

  7. After listening to the album a couple of times, i luv it. Personally, she is unlike anyone else that is out and everyone of the past. Even though she does combine bits and pieces of all the female rappers into herself, she does create something different. Including her antics, style, and voices. As a Nicki fan, she has stated that she uses these characteristics to reach and grab the attention of her audience. Once she has all the attention she needs, she can make music that she wants to. She has stated in numerous videos and on one of her mixtape that she wants to sing and rap on one track but the Def Jam says shes no Lauryn Hill. With that being said, this is only one album that she has made and can show her critics and on the fence fans that she is worth listening to. Great blog post and much success.

  8. Honest review. I’m still not listening to the CD. I have to be honest with myself first. I’m not into that type of music anymore. No matter how hard I try to listen to it it makes me sick. Reminds of back in the day when Nas was calling himself nasty nas singing oohchewallawalla. As soon as that song would come on I left the dance floor. I like real music, classical, Jazz, Grace Jones..The greats past, present, and future like Esperanza Spaulding. I can talk all the crap I want about a lil Kim or Nicki, but I would never spend a quarter on either of them because I don’t want to hear all of that hate/self hatred.

  9. Exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I was SO excited for this album but was extremely disappointed when I listened to it. I wanted hardcore Nicki like in her and Drake’s Up All Night, but was blindsided with her softer, singing voice. Which is fine at times but not when she has made her career so far off of something else. It might be too early for her to be so soft but perhaps that’s what listeners want…

    Thanks for this post, I loved it. 🙂

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