Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that spurs a development of crazed behaviour and a breakdown of clear thought patterns. Closely related to this phenomenon is Multiple Personality Disorder where individuals exhibit various distinct identities with little connection to each other. If you’re searching for a perfect example of these issues then look no further than Nicki Minaj and her ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ album.
Nonsensically tottering from Dance/Pop to Hip-Hop and even R&B, ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ is depiction of artistic confusion to the extreme degree. Indeed, Minaj often boasts about the various mental characters she created to channel the multiple sides of her music but this album demonstrates that those figments of her imagination are now running wild without direction.
Clearly, one of Minaj’s identities is a fan of Jennifer Lopez and Madonna because she ventures fully into their Dance field on 6 of the 22 songs included on ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’. Honestly, ‘Automatic’, ‘Whip It’ and ‘Beautiful Sinner’ could easily fit into Lopez’s ill-fated ‘Love?’ album. In fact, the synth-heavy ‘Pound the Alarm’ features an understated guest vocal that sounds almost identical to Pitbull.
Now, the Dance songs on ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ are solid efforts but as an artist who has been heralded as the “Queen of Hip-Hop” by every ignorant writers from Rolling Stone to MTV, Minaj should at least stay true to the genre. Perhaps, we should have taken the ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ artwork as an indication that she would rather follow in Ke$ha’s footsteps than MC Lyte.
Even Minaj’s current single, ‘Starships’, was overrun by jarring Dance music breaks that ruin an otherwise excellent record. Imagine Missy Elliott rapping onstage and then being dropkicked by an unmedicated Britney Spears.
However, ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ is not completely doomed to be ignored by those who want to hear Minaj flex her rap skills on core Hip-Hop tracks. Cuts such as the stunning title track, which features Lil Wayne, ‘I’m Your Leader (Ft. Cam’ron & Rick Ross)’ and ‘Champion (Ft. Drake, Young Jeezy & Nas)’ all exemplify that Minaj could spit serious bars when needed.
Of course, Minaj delivers her best work on ‘Hov Lane’. For any rapper, especially a woman, to boldly compare herself to Jay-Z is a brave act but Minaj blasts verses that remind her fans that she once eclipsed the icon on Kanye West’s ‘Monster’.
This is where I must pause and take a breath to prevent myself from writing expletives. So, feel free to reread the above paragraphs while I compose myself and do a quick round of meditation. Now, let’s get started.
”…Minaj must be suffering from a rare mental disorder because only an unstable person would grunt and shout utter filth over such an incredible beat.”
What in the name of Trinidad, Tobago, our national bird and Christopher Columbus was happening under Minaj’s wig when she made ‘Roman Holiday’? This record confirms that she must be suffering from a rare mental disorder because only an unstable person would grunt and shout utter filth over such an incredible beat. Yet, the tripe didn’t end there.
‘Come on a Cone’ is the most musically offensive song in Minaj’s entire catalogue. She starts the the record with impressive lyrics over the Hitboy-produced track before the hook completely ruins the mix. Additionally, Minaj disturbs the human spirit when she starts singing the lyrics “put my dick in your face” with her best breathy Mariah Carey impersonation.
Speaking of singing, Mianj performs almost all of the remaining songs on ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ without rapping a verse. From ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and ‘Fire Burns’ to ‘Gun Shot (Ft. Beenie Man)’ and ‘Young Forever’, she dials up the auto-tune and lets her years of vocal training as a musical theatre student shine. No, that was not a compliment.
Finally, we have the garbage that is ‘Stupid Hoe’, the painfully dull ‘Masquerade’ and the surprisingly delightful ‘Va Va Voom’. The last of those tunes should have been the lead single from ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ but it is quite obvious that Minaj will release it later this year to score a runaway hit with those persons who do not purchase the deluxe version of the album. After all, that is what she did with ‘Super Bass’ and the original ‘Pink Friday’.
Now, what is the final verdict for ’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’? Minaj simply tried to do too much too soon and created a confusing mess of an album without cohesion or direction. Really, the multiple sides of her personality clashed on the record and she got lost in the confusion.
If you remember the movie ‘The Craft’ then joined me with the following chant: “We bind you Nicki from doing harm; harm against others and harm against yourself.” Repeat that spell 3 times and we just might save her career.
Standout tracks: ‘Hov Lane’, ‘Champion (Ft. Drake, Young Jeezy & Nas)’, ‘I’m Your Leader’, ‘Roman Reloaded (Ft. Lil Wayne)’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’
Weakest track: ‘Come on a Cone’
Possible singles: ‘Roman Reloaded (Ft. Lil Wayne)’, ‘Sex in the Lounge (Ft. Lil Wayne & Bobby V)’, ‘Va Va Voom’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’
The Lava Lizard Rating: 3/5 Stars