Music Review – Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is WEIRD. I know, you’re shocked. This is like saying that The Beatles are overrated or that 3D is a cheap gimmick.

But you know what? Sometimes dead is better weird is better. I mean yes, Nicki Minaj might ACTUALLY have Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka multiple personality disorder), but Van Gogh was depressed and the world was better for that too.

My history with Nicki goes like this. First, I’d never heard of her. Then I heard “Check It Out” with will.i.am on the radio. But I thought she was just some girl featured on a will.i.am. solo project. Oops. Then I found out she was a big deal, and found Pink Friday on Amazon for $4.00. In case you’re wondering, it’s almost never wrong to buy an album if it’s $4.00. And people. This was some of the best $4 I’ve ever spent.

I mean, I don’t want to over-sell it, but this album is pretty excellent. It has a phenomenal group of guest-talent. Kanye, Rihanna, will.i.am., Natasha Bedingfield, and Eminem, among others all make appearances. But it takes more than guests to make an album great. That has to come from the star.

Pink Friday is a diverse album, which is part of the reason I love it so much. It shows off Nicki’s talent as a singer, a writer, and a rapper (yes, these are all distinct things). To be a good singer, you should be able to hit a reasonable range of notes in a manner than generally pleases the ear. This is normally best accomplished by soulful ballads that resonate on some girly emotional level. Check. In fact, I found these tracks to be by far the best on the album; “Right Thru Me” and “Save Me” are particular stand-outs.

To be a good writer, I think it’s important to show a mastery of rhythm and rhyme (both traditional and slanted, “stretching it” rhyme), as well as content that is expressive and relatable. In this, I find that Nicki Minaj is also quite talented. Her ability to oscillate between gratefulness for her success, high-on-herself bravado (both rap essentials unless you’re Kanye), honest self-reflection, and even a bit of sadness, is almost unparalleled.

And of course, to be a good rapper, you need to be able to free style effectively and talk very quickly. Watch this in case you doubt the first part.

Homegirl wants more cheese, bitches.

Anyway, this is getting voluminous. Just buy the friggin’ thing.

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