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 Will.i.am “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 Will.I.am 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.
If you are eager to learn about the bevy of underground femcees please visit www.TheFembassy.com you are guaranteed to find a femcee you love!
What do you think of “Pink Friday?”
Categories: Mind Over Chatter