Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pink Friday Album Review

Like many of us born before the mid 1980’s I instinctively did not want to like Nicki Minaj. But as time went on and as the radio banged her into my head constantly I realized that I may need to set aside my jadedness about the state of hip hop and main stream radio and give this girl a real listen. I mean she is a female rapper from Queens, making money. Respect Due! I started to like certain songs (mainly her guest appearances like Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad”) although I didn’t want to like them and certain lyrics made me realize the girl has some skills when you push past all the sing songy-ness and the random foreign accents and chicken head twang. Although I’m a notorious hater it’s objective hate like Star and Bucwild so I will say I think she can rap. Is she the greatest? No. but when she is just rapping, I like it. I like the energy that we haven’t seen from female rappers in ages. She isn’t Rah Digga or Lauren Hill but she found an opening and she took it. It’s her time and I think it works for her.

Pink Friday is cool. It’s not great, I don’t love it but I don’t dislike it the way I thought I would.  Most of what I already heard on the radio is not impressive like “Your Love” and “Right Thru Me”. Too much singing and I guess these are supposed to appeal to the girls since it’s singing about liking boys but I’ll pass on those. My favorites on the album are “I’m the Best” and “Dear Old Nicki” In both of those songs she is rapping which is exactly what I needed. She comes more honest and raw in these 2 tracks. She addresses the former underground mix-tape Nicki which true hip hop fans respect. But we also understand that mix-tape Nicki won’t get rich (pour out some liquor or donate a dollar for broke mix-tape rappers). “I’m the best” is a nice introduction to the album. She talks about how before she couldn’t buy her mother a couch and now she is sitting at the closing buying her mother a house.. How even when her Dad was on Crack she was Crack. Its straight up, it’s a look-at-me-now story and I respect it. “Dear Old Nicki” is a letter to her former self and a plea for that old girl to still be there waiting for her when she needs her. She is pleading with her to “please call back”. Who can’t relate to feeling like they miss the person they once were for any number of reasons. And it is also relatable to hip hop fans who miss the former Nicki Minaj almost as much as she might. I also like “Did it on em” where she basically closes any unnecessary debate about her current position in the game by simply stating  “she aint a Nicki fan then the bitch deaf, dumb”. “Romans Revenge” is the track featuring Eminem and it’s exciting because Eminem is on it and he brings a certain energy to everything he does. We get an extra bonus because he has 2 verses on this song. But Nicki shoulda come harder for an Eminem collaboration (assuming she can actually come harder). Even Jay Z learned that lesson on “Renegade”. But I like when she goes at Lil Kim “Word, that bitch mad ’cause I took the spot? Well, bitch, if you ain’t shittin’, then get off the pot” Who can argue with that? Special honorable mention to “Check it out” featuring Will I Am. It has a different vibe and unique feel that separates it from the rest of the album so I like it for that reason. Everything else is just ok. I find that I wanted to like “Blazin” more than I actually do just because it featured Kanye West. On the ugotthejuicenow blogspot rating scale I give Pink Friday 2.5 out of 5 cups of juice.

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