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  • Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" — 5 out of 5 stars

    Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:10:37

    Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" — 5 out of 5 stars - Exclusive review by ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino…

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    • Nicki Minaj - NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Nicki Minaj performs onstage at Fashion Rocks 2014 presented by Three Lions Entertainment at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on September 9, 2014 in New York City.
    • Nicki Minaj - NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Hip-hip artist Nicki Minaj performs onstage at Fashion Rocks 2014 presented by Three Lions Entertainment at the Barclays Center of Brooklyn on September 9, 2014 in New York City.
    • Nicki Minaj - NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Nicki Minaj performs onstage at Fashion Rocks 2014 presented by Three Lions Entertainment at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on September 9, 2014 in New York City.

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    The third song on Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, "I Am Your Leader", really says it all.

    Nicki Minaj is not only rightfully the queen of hip hop, but she's also going to completely conquer pop with her mega-anticipated sophomore effort. Minaj does things her own way, and that's why she stands out so much from the pack. She isn't anything like the other superstars out there. Minaj and her alter ego Roman Zolanski don't pander to one genre or audience, and they certainly don't need to.

    The opening salvo "Roman Holiday" sounds like an R-Rated Andrew Lloyd Weber musical on Mars. Our hero's voice resounds angelically over an orchestral buildup before she slips into the propulsive rapid-fire rapping she excels at. The choral break in the middle is both haunting and hypnotic just before the spacey production of "Come On a Cone" envelopes everything.

    "When you see me on Ellen just admit that I'm winnin'," Minaj urges before a hilarious vocal interlude of her crooning, "Put my dick in your face". It's raucous, raunchy, raw, and righteously fun.

    Her schizophrenic style is so intriguing that it's infectious on the aforementioned "I Am Your Leader". With a prescient middle finger to haters, she boasts about having hoodies in Hot Topic and how she's "a brand, bitch". If you don't like it, guess what you can do? Well, you've have to listen to find out, and it's worth it. The track's cameos from Rick Ross and Cam'Ron also beef up the attack brilliantly.

    During "Champion", Drake, Nas, and Young Jeezy team up for a collaboration of epic proportions. It's like The Avengers of hip hop.

    "Beez in the Trap" is another undeniably catchy underground cut where Minaj and 2 Chainz shine with clever and quick quips as one of the album's slipperiest refrains takes over. "Roman Reloaded" is a monumental event in its own right seeing Minaj and Lil Wayne go toe-to-toe firing off some of the hottest rhymes you'll hear all year within the space of one track. Wayne returns on the ode to backstage love "Sex in the Lounge" as well for another fiery spot. "Pound the Alarm", single "Starships", and the gorgeous "Marilyn Monroe" tread pop territory in magnificent fashion while brandishing Minaj's sense of swagger and style. She asks, "Is this how Marilyn Monroe felt?"

    It might be…

    Ultimately, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is one of the best albums of the year and a landmark for pop and hip hop. The new leader has landed, get ready to follow her…

    Rick Florino
    04.04.12


    Have you heard Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded?



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    Tags: Nicki Minaj, Nas, Cam'ron, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Drake, Young Jeezy

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