thoughts on Nicki Minaj’s debut album

I’m a supporter of music. Point blank.

I still purchase albums, and usually for one or two reasons, sometimes both: i love the artist or i love their music. For the former, i will purchase the album regardless (unless it’s absolute rubbish, such as the case with Christina Aguilera’s latest, Bionic). For the latter, as is the case with artists like Lloyd Banks and R. Kelly (his alleged sexual criminal activities have sullied his reputation and lyrics’ intent), i don’t particularly have a connection nor am i enthralled by their characters or real-life selves, but i do enjoy their artwork.

With Minaj, it was some of both. I don’t love her music nor her as an artist; but i do respect her artistry, her off-the-wall, flamboyant personas, and relatively novel-packaged characters. And, because of two tracks, Kanye’s “Monster”—which she arguably steals from heavyweights, Ye and Hov—and Minaj’s “roman’s revenge” featuring Eminem, my curiosity to hear more of her work in a non-mixtape or featured situation was elevated.

So, i decided to pre-order Pink Friday, along with Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Lloyd Banks’s Hunger For More 2, which were all released on Nov 22nd. Before arriving at my house, I tried my darndest to elude impressions (positive or negative) of Pink Friday.

The opening track, “i’m the best,” had my hopes up. It was engrossing, probably because of the escalating, step-like beat, yet it felt like i was listening to cheery early 90s sitcom theme music, dashed with some orchestrated disco, dripping with harp-playing cherubs. Very odd, i know, but that’s what comes to mind with that track. Lol.

My favourite songs are “save me” and “moment 4 life” featuring Drake. Not surprisingly, they are the two most somber and serious songs on the album. Regardless of genre, i have an affinity for heartfelt and depressing songs, those ripe with raw emotion or power.

And that’s where it ended, the enjoyment of the album.

Minaj’s lyrical flow, delivery and content are rudimentary at best throughout the remaining tracks, drowning in pop song production or downright zany and mind-warping (“did it on em”).

Although i’m not fond of Minaj reading from Drake’s playbook by singing on a few songs (“save me” isn’t too bad), i understand her branching out, searching for what works for her, finding her voice.

On “save me,” i think she is the most with not only her fans, but with herself. She doesn’t resort to her off-the-wall voice changes or switching between her various personas, but heartfelt lyrics and emotion. However, in searching for her own voice, she emulates other artists, namely Aguilera from her Stripped album with the voice over on “save me” and on “here i am,” Lil’ Kim’s cadence and style are evident.

Regardless of the inconsistencies, i don’t think the album was a failure; it definitely wasn’t sales wise, having been certified platinum. It delivered what i half expected: various musical sounds, hit or miss lyrics, and a penchant of trying too hard to bring Barbie to life. Here’s to her next album.

Oh, and before i leave: please, can someone tell me why she put on the album? He ruins songs. As a featured artist, i officially disliked him when he butchered Rihanna’s Rated R track, “Photographs.” Why was he on there? Please, tell me. He needs to stay off tracks and remain on the boards.

Aight, i’m done.