I had to reinvent I but the V in vent Cherish these nights/Cherish these people/Life is a movie/but there will never be a sequel/And Im good with that/As long as Im peaceful/As long s seven years from now Im taking my daughter to preschool Nicki Minaj, All Things Go
Though shes been in the business for longer than many remember, Nicki Minaj has been on the warp speed rise to fame and notoriety in recent years. Shes come a long way from spittin bars with Weezy in project staircases on YouTube. She was co-signed by heavyweights early on: Baby and Lil Wayne of Cash Money. Kanye and Jay-Z on Monster. Even the pop-soul chanteuses have collaborated with her, from Rihanna to Beyoncebut Nicki is determined to dominate and keep her record number of Top 100 hits out of reach for another artist.
The Pinkprintis certainly a more cohesive, less confused album than Pink Friday. As her image has evolved beyond the cotton candy wigs and latex getups, with The Pinkprint, Nicki shows us a snapshot of the woman she sees in the mirror when the spotlights been killed. This collection is a concerted pop effort; Nicki leans into her vocal ability and showcases range. Perhaps after conquering the hip hop landscape, she felt a need to make the point that she isnt dependent on singers. I Lied had me convinced there was an uncredited vocalist collaborating. Her performance is rich with emotion and shows considerable growth.
When Nicki hands over hook duty to guest vocalists, she serves up bass heavy male objectification with Get On Your Knees (Feat Ariana Grande) and Feeling Myself (feat. Beyoncé). When you make all the money in the world, who needs a gentleman? Nicki commands her men to get on all fours and give me brain like NYU, promising that she can kill your migraine. Unapologetic sexual power on a hundred thousand trillion, and why not? She butters her bread with it.
Want Some More is my kind of Nicki. Shes at her strongest when she packs her bars with syncopation and rapid-fire metaphor. She flexes her track record as an artist here, and there is no denying that she has earned every hip hop stripe. Who had Eminem on the first album/who had Kanye calling her a problem/who the fuck came in the game and made her own column?! I gotcha rent in my pocketso can I pay you to pop it? As Ebro recently said on Hot 97, if you still hatin on Nickis verses, youre trippin!
I wanna be the only one that can check youand still respect you. Nicki unclasps her armor for a bit on Favorite (feat. Jeremih), where she campaigns to be a mans ridah. Now, my ears hear favorite among several, but I digress. Nicki doesnt exactly seem like a one-man woman either. And on the very next track, Buy A Heart, Nicki has hers up for sale, along with trust and vulnerability. These are liabilities in todays relationship game; this is heartbreak putting on a brave face with a well positioned sample of Alicia Keys from Im Ready. The irony here is Alicia has her heart wide open on the original songand Nicki plucks it for a song where emotion is unwelcome. That heartbreak gets aired out on a torch song youd expect from anyone but Nicki Minaj. Grand Piano has smash hit written all over it.
Trini Dem Girls and The Night Is Still Young are here solely for partying. Its just a matter of whether you like the dutty wind or the fist pump set from your DJ. And Anaconda is, well, Anaconda. There for shock value, and really more of a distraction than a contribution to the album from a creative standpoint. Big Daddy and “Shanghai feel like more of the same; songs that could have stayed on a mixtape, threatening to make The Pinkprint play too long and wear out its welcome. Overall, her production is tight and solid; her voice is stronger than ever, both topically and in performance. The Pinkprint cements Nicki Minaj as a formidable player in the rap-pop game. She may call women MCs her sons, but shes sonning the boyz tooand they know it.
Favorite Tracks: Want Some More, I Lied, Feeling Myself