Is Nicki able to maintain the balance between Rap and Pop this time around?
Ever since the mainstream success of “Super Bass” back in 2011, Nicki Minaj’s career has been quite the roller coaster ride. Her following album (2012’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded) was an effort that showed her competing with the biggest names in Pop and EDM, but in exchange for her respected rap sound and image. Roman Reloaded was re-released (titled The Re-Up) later that year with seven news tracks that proved Nicki can mix pop and rap, and still have the best of both worlds.
Her latest studio album, The Pinkprint, is not the same mix we hoped for. Instead of trying to cater for both groups of fans, Nicki has somewhat alienated her pop fans. The album features many slow-tempo rap songs with weak hooks that may have Pop fans feeling a little drowsy. While it’s easy to see that Nicki has grown lyrically, and is taking a more serious overall approach to this album, we know she has the ability to better utilize them in order to produce songs that are more entertaining (as demonstrated in the album’s lead single “Pill n Potions”).
Two of the albums most eagerly awaited tracks include collaborations with artists that Nicki has already worked with this year. The first, “Get on Your Knees”, features vocals from “Bang Bang” collaborator Ariana Grande and lyrics co-written by Katy Perry. The track is a breath of fresh air, as Ariana’s chorus outshines anything else you will hear on the album. The other track, “Feeling Myself”, featuring Beyoncé is quite underwhelming. Maybe expectations were too high, but what we thought would be a huge track with an incredible hook just turned out to be disappointing. Even Beyoncé sounded bored.
The incredibly successful, chart-topping producer Dr Luke produces two of the albums standouts. “The Night is Still Young” and “Trini Dem Girls” (featuring Lunchmoney Lewis) are two obvious future single choices. Both tracks are not too rap, or pop, and would definitely be eaten up by radio stations worldwide, as well as casual music buyers on iTunes.
Verdict: While this is an overall disappointing effort from Nicki, it still isn’t her worst work. The Pinkprint shows a lot of growth when compared to her previous studio album, and is a hell of a lot more consistent. If Nicki just worked a bit harder with her producers and co writers to create hooks that were more memorable, she may just be able to please all of her fans.
The Pinkprint is available to purchase on iTunes worldwide now!
– Nathan Bertao
Image Credit: MTV