MUSIC CH▲SER is a weekly student blog. The blog will cover popular, contemporary music by artists such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye West, B.O.B, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Florence + The Machine, Adele, Shakira, Flo Rida, Justin Bieber, Usher, P!nk, One Direction, Jessie J, and more. Check the blog for reviews on the newest and hottest songs, music videos, and albums!
Minaj's sophomore album is on sale now.
“Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”, Nicki Minaj’s newest album, is an eclectic compilation of varying genres, ranging from hip hop and rap to radio-friendly pop singles. This album features nineteen entirely new songs and is a follow up, as opposed to a rerelease, to her first album, “Pink Friday”. Minaj definitely has not suffered in the slightest from the notorious “sophomore slump” that performers fear with the release of their second album, as “Roman Reloaded” claimed the number one spot on iTunes within hours of its release.
“Roman Reloaded” includes collaborations with Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Rick Ross, adding to her credibility and status in the music community. The themes on many of the tracks are common of hip hop and rap artists as of late, including her struggles with achieving fame and all of the success she has garnered ever since.
Despite the criticism that Minaj received regarding her satanic Grammy performance of “Roman Holiday” at the 2012 Grammy Awards, which included an exorcism, her male alter ego, Roman Zolanski, is featured prominently on the album. The inclusion of this dominating masculine character causes the album to have a more aggressive feel to it on many of the songs. Nicki Minaj’s provocative and aggressive spirit is clearly displayed on this album, especially on the bass-thumping and at times vulgar tracks “Come On a Cone”, “HOV Lane”, and “I Am Your Leader,” which give her ample opportunities to espouse self-promotional lyrics with hard-hitting punch lines.
Minaj is known for her multiple alter-egos, including Roman Zolanski.
Other songs are less multi-faceted, in stark contrast to the deeper-cutting tracks regarding Minaj’s rise to fame, struggles with love, and feelings of loneliness at the top. Songs such as “Starships,” Sex in the Lounge,” “Va Va Voom,” “Masquerade,” and “Automatic,” have unbelievably catchy, synthesizer-saturated pop hooks with bass lines that will have listeners involuntarily tapping their feet and bobbing their heads. However, for the most part, these songs have facile lyrics that regurgitate many of the themes that currently inundate hit radio stations including sex, drugs, clubbing, dancing, and partying.
In this way, the album shows many sides of Minaj. Her tortured, emotional facet is communicated through songs like “Marylin Monroe” and “Young Forever,” which discuss the pressure and loneliness that come with fame as well as unrequited love. Her cocky, dominant, Roman-tinged side is shown on her more aggressive songs. The side of her that loves partying and enjoying times with friends comes through on the catchier pop songs.
In my opinion, I think the multifaceted qualities of the album lead to a dilemma. I feel there is a disconnect between the types of songs Minaj clearly enjoys and is the most talented at, which is rapping, and her desire to create songs that will be well received on the radio. For example, her more provocative tracks will most likely never be heard on top forty radio, while her more shallow songs with catchy pop hooks will be what ultimately defines her for the general public.
A promotional photo for Minaj's hit, "Starships."
As a side note, one of the more interesting parts of the deluxe edition is a 21 minute press conference with Minaj, conducted by Charlemagne and Safaree “SB” Samuels. Though long, the conference, which offers listeners insight into the recording artist’s thoughts and sentiments, is worth a listen for those that want to know more about Minaj. During the conference, Minaj discusses her anger towards fans that compare to other artists and call her unoriginal. She also touches on her struggle to attain fame, as well as her yearning for personal fulfillment as she rises to the top. She also articulately expresses her goals as an artist, which include providing recreational and educational facilities for poor youth and furthering young girls’ control over their own lives, especially in low-income black communities.
“It’s gonna be an important album for hip hop culture” states the performer.