Nicki Minaj, “Pink Friday” (Cash Money Records)
There is a lot of anticipation surrounding the release of Nicki Minaj’s debut CD “Pink Friday.” And there should be.
This year, Minaj’s had 15 songs appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with seven of them hitting the Top 40. It’s a feat that few artists — regardless of genre — have accomplished. She’s advanced songs she’s costarred on, boosting rap jams like Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad” and Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Hello Good Morning.” And on “Monster,” Minaj’s 80-second closing verse easily outshines that of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rick Ross.
While Minaj’s proven she can jump on someone’s song — or idea — and get the job done, on her own songs, she struggles to make something to call her own.
“Pink Friday” is a 13-track set that is full of songs that either showcases Minaj’s cockiness or her vulnerability. You’ll listen to the songs and wonder: Do you have anything else to rap about?
The album opens with “I’m the Best,” where Minaj boasts about her standing as rap’s top female act — and she does it again on “Roman’s Revenge” and “Did It On’em.” Other tracks are also sprinkled with similar rhymes — and they get old.
When Minaj is not caught up with being No. 1, she shines. On “Save Me,” she strips down and presents a more humble side of herself. The Drake-assisted “Moment 4 Life” has Minaj excited about her accomplishments — and cherishing her winning moment. As she should be.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “Save Me” is a refreshing track from the overconfident Minaj.