yMusic: Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: Part 1

Nice cover, no?
From all the blabber I have devoted to Nicki Minaj, it's not surprising that I bought her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, off iTunes. Twenty-two tracks for fifteen dollars. And it was worth the money--and Mom seeing it on her credit card bill.

Despite the name, Roman, Nicki Minaj's male persona, doesn't pop up much. His presence is only explicit on 2-3 tracks, with his influence popping up here and there, but it's still Barbie's album. The album's split into two parts: Rap and pop, although many of the ones range the entire spectrum of hip-pop.

Since the deluxe edition has a huge collection of songs, I'll have to split this between several posts. For the sake of consistency, I'm using the following template:

Song Name

Genre: Rap, pop, hip-pop, or something else.
Rating: One to five stars.
Visual: What image(s) the song instill into my mind.
Summary: Song in a nutshell.
Song Highlight: What stood out the most and why.

WARNING: While I will be censoring most/all language, the album delves into iffy and suggestive topics. Not to mention some rhymes will give some words away. Also, I will use the word chorus, which is referred to a hook by rappers.

Here we go!


"Roman Holiday"

I'm so pretty...

Genre: Rap
Rating:   5/5
Visual: With the performance...a church with darkish-green colors, with Roman prancing around causing some chaos.
Summary: Watched the Grammy's? It's that song. And it's clear why it's the album opener, since it's pretty much the sequel of "Roman's Revenge" from the first album. Despite one of the best elements of the performances absent (Roman speaking while his mother, Martha Zolanski, sings out the chorus), it doesn't retract from its execution. The drum beat propels the song with energy, with Roman gliding through the "O Come All Ye Faithful" bridge. Not to mention Roman ends each verse with accented intonation that he already displays.
On the other hand, the last usage of the chorus could have easily been excluded. Roman spasing out was a good enough of an ending.
Song Highlight: The beginning of the second verse.
Witch, twitch, b****
Motherf***ing right, this is World War Six!
While I have no idea what Nicki/Roman meant by World War Six, the cadence, along with the masculine, "pew-pew" like tone used on the word "six", established that, yes, Roman is in charge.


"Come on a Cone"

Grossed out?

Genre: Rap
Rating: 4/5
Visual: Yellow splashes with an ice-creme cone and honey combs.
Summary: The bee-like beat with occasional claps enforces the verses, although they're standard fare in terms of lyrics (she'll be covering this subject matter later) and pronunciation. What makes this track stand out is the chorus, with Nicki hamming it up, saying the title multiple times in succession with hammier and hammier methods, which makes it...interesting to listen to.
Song Highlight: But what defined the track (and this part of the album) is:
The first time I heard those words, I laughed out loud. Although it's simple, the sheer audacity and vulgarity behind these words make it stick to my mind. It's clear love-it-or-hate-it moment, but those who aren't disgusted would certainly be intrigued.


"I Am Your Leader" (feat. Cam'ron and Rick Ross)

They were all apart of a five-minute remix.

Genre: Rap
Rating: 3/5
Visual: Green with some black walls.
Summary: This is the first "real" rap song, complete with featured male rappers. To a beat that whizzes up, Nicki uses a ghetto voice, similar to her part in "Roger That". However, all three rappers provided middle-of-the-road performances. It's completely typical crassy rap stuff. Oh, and the chorus? Catchy, but also typical. It seems vaguely opera.
Song Highlight: For some reason, I like Cam'ron's part the best. Probably because his verse has the most variation and range.


"Beez in the Trap" (feat. 2 Chainz)

Dog days are coming, kids.

Genre: Rap
Rating: 4/5
Visual: Ping-pongs in black space, with Nicki rocking it out in the street, with skyscrapers in the nightly background.
Summary: The intro is quite hooking, with a bouncy beat alternating between earbuds, Nicki going "meh", and a raunchy yet catchy chorus. 2 Chainz inclusion is only a cheery in a slow yet flowing track.
Song Highlight: The bridge, which introduces a deeper beat, which draws out nicely on the ears, along with Nicki dipping into her ghetto voice. Once again, crass lyrics, but it's something her fans (Barbies) are familiar with.


"HOV Lane"

My Barbies are in the back.

Genre: Rap
Rating: 5/5
Visual: Yellow and orange with Nicki driving a sport car across a suburb and then dancing on the top with two back-up dancers.
Summary: With the zooming 16-bit beat, "HOV Lane" comes the most energy so far in the album. Although Nicki's back on the subject of fame, she executes her lines with rapid-fire. The bridge isn't shabby either, with "Nintendo" and "friend zone" together.
Song Highlight: What gets this song the five is the chorus itself. It's simple:
I'm in the HOV Lane, I'm in the HOV Lane,
And you-you-you-you-you, Soul Train!
This by itself barrows a nasty earworm into my mind, with its wind-mill vibe. However, it's quite clever, if you consider that "Hov" is both a name for the carpool and for one of the more famous rappers currently, Jay-Z. Soul Train? Something from a long time ago.
So, she's saying "I'm in, you're out". Simple, but her choice of words proves that she can spit out some great lyrics.


I'll be reviewing the rest of the album through the next few days, finishing up the mainly rap portions next post. If you prefer my writing articles, feel free and ignore these. I'll be back on the writing articles soon.

YOUR TURN: Did you like or dislike the new album? What are your thoughts on these tracks?