Release Date: Dec 15, 2014
Record label: Cash Money
Genre(s): Pop, Rap, Pop/Rock, Pop-Rap
Review Summary: Queen Nicki dominant?Ultimately, The Pinkprint isn’t the Nicki Minaj Show that we might have expected. Obviously, Minaj can rap with the best of them (cue inevitable reference to her still-jaw-dropping verse on “Monster”), but on her latest full-length she’s going ham significantly less of the time than most listeners would want. For every “Feeling Myself,” there’s a “Grand Piano.” For every “Only,” there’s a “Pills N Potions.” She’s brash, arrogant, and vicious (the Nicki we know and love) about as often as she’s morose and introspective (the Nicki we don’t).
The Pinkprint is Nicki Minaj's busting-out-all-over magnum opus, a love letter to her supernova star power and hip-hop radicalism, her teeming brain and her body electric. Minaj's previous album, 2012's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, was dominated by psycho-glam role-playing. Now, as the Blueprint-referencing title implies, she's more Hov than Gaga. She talks about taking off her mask on "Feeling Myself," a wild ego-trip throwdown with Beyoncé.
Eight years and three albums in to her mainstream Rap career, we’ve learned about Nicki Minaj that there’s absolutely nothing as an artist that she can’t do. From rapping to singing to dancing to incorporating EDM to crossing over and being maybe the best branded artist of the current era, she’s arguably done it all. However, on 2014’s just-released The Pinkprint, she finally proves that she can do it all extremely well.
Nicki Minaj has found a balance. Her juggle of pop obligations and rap expectations have finally landed in an assured middle ground this year, leaving a strengthened artist left standing. The Pinkprint is the third studio album from Nicki, and delivers some of the slick-tongued spitter's best work as 19 strong, multidimensional tracks tip-toe away from the pop planet of "Starships," ushering the rapper closer to her originally raw hip-hop roots.
Nicki Minaj is fed up. It's 2010, six weeks before the release of her debut album, Pink Friday. She's working on the album's finishing touches, though it's just gone up for presale on Amazon, and people are blowing up her phone, asking for favors. She's pissed, but she composes herself for the camera crew - they're in the studio shooting footage for a documentary MTV will premiere a few years later, called "My Time Now" - to explain.
Responding to criticisms of her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Nicki Minaj trumpeted The Pinkprint as a return to her genre roots, to knotty, technically accomplished hip-hop with a pronounced air of eccentricity. Instead, her third effort represents something entirely different, a nakedly introspective work that reduces her formerly freewheeling aesthetic to its bare components, scrapping the multiple-personality play-acting, the cartoon wackiness, and a good amount of the frenetically intense wordplay for direct, unembellished intimacy. The results land somewhere between the inspired but uneven wildness of her debut and the lightweight mainstream bid of its follow-up, with an album that mimics the rhythms of neither, exploring new ground with admirable, if sometimes misguided, aplomb.
Nicki Minaj is all emotional, dangling in the void of her recent breakup with Safaree “SB” Samuels and grappling with all kinds of what-ifs. Often enough on her third album, The Pinkprint, the 32-year-old flashes the staggering rap technique that caused her 2007 to 2009 mixtapes to blow up, but ultimately, she plays the role of a lovelorn songwriter instead of a rapper or even a rapper-slash-singer. Even when she’s rattling off words at a dizzying rate that guests like Meek Mill would struggle to top, she’s first and foremost looking to tidy up the messiness of her situation — and never before has Minaj defined her situation in such intimate detail.
News flash: Nicki Minaj has needs. On the Queens-reared rapper’s third album, she straightens her famously strange expression and spits some vulnerable truth. In “I Lied,” the star admits the only reason she keeps denying she loves a guy is to keep him “from breaking my heart.” In “Favorite,” she says she wants the primary role in a man’s life, while in “The Crying Game” she emphasizes that she really wants “to love and be loved” — even more than having a brilliant career.
In 2010 Nicki Minaj successfully destroyed her competition in one verse on Kanye West’s “Monster”: “So let me get this straight/wait, I’m the rookie?/But my features and my show’s 10 times your pay?/Fifty K for a verse, no album out/Yeah my money’s so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it. ” The verse was a personal favorite that year, and it proved that Minaj hadn’t only arrived—she’d shown up with a vision that was fully formed, all in 20-or-so seconds. Alter-egos, other-worldly voices, Barbies and all.
Nicki Minaj :: The PinkprintYoung Money/Cash Money RecordsAuthor: Jesal 'Jay Soul' PadaniaAlas, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire hath befallen us. You will either dismiss this as a mess, or in time grow to fully appreciate "The Pinkprint" - a record named after Jay-Z's 2001 classic "The Blueprint". However, it is a record more akin to "The Blueprint 3" - that 2009 hot mess that flowed well if you looked hard enough, whilst simultaneously ignored the structural errors made by the late-Hovian Era architect.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. When attempting to tackle a 22-track pop album from an EDM-dabbling hip-hop artist, it's best to start by working out what the hell you're listening to. In this highly scientific review, I categorise and dissect Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint to work out if she is 'any good'. This album will be the beginning of Nicki Minaj's renaissance as she reclaims her place on the throne as hip-hop's leading lady.
What to make of Nicki Minaj. The 32-year-old banged on the door of hip-hop’s boys club with explosive second mixtape ‘Sucka Free’ in 2008. In 2010, she kicked it clean off its hinges with the raging, electric ‘Pink Friday’, a debut album which sold nearly four million copies and turned Minaj – the only female rapper ever to be included on Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings List – into one of hip-hop’s biggest stars.Disappointingly however, ’The Pinkprint’ lacks that old bite.
It all goes back to the wigs. No, seriously. When Nicki Minaj abandoned her DayGlo getups and cotton-candy hair early this year, it hinted that she was done with trite pop songs and ready to get back to being a rap star. With her stint as a judge on “American Idol” in the rearview mirror, the implication was that she was returning to her roots, and not just in the follicle sense.
Nicki Minaj’s third studio album The Pinkprint is a break-up record for people who are ready to fuck again. ‘Pills N Potions’ foretold a project full of forgiving meditations and subdued pop after promises of no more ‘Starships’s. But what starts emotional, sing-songy and damn near like a Drake album, then maps the dynamic scope of the internal negotiations one makes in love and business.
It has become nearly impossible to discuss Nicki Minaj without scrutinizing the bitter turf war that has played out between gritty street raps and pop anthems on past albums. Her last album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, literally split itself in two making the distinction. Following the release of hard-hitting songs “Looking Ass” and “Chiraq” earlier this year, there was again widespread speculation that listeners might see a departure from the glossy “Starships” splendor that made Minaj a household name, which she herself dutifully confirmed, but it didn’t hush the skeptics.
Those who have followed Nicki Minaj's often-thrilling ascent to hip-hop superstardom have been hoping for another straight-up rap album for years. After annihilating virtually all takers on mixtapes and guest verses starting in 2007, the 32-year-old began gunning for the pop charts, pouring forth two albums, "Pink Friday" (2010) and "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" (2012). Both often paired her charismatic wit and style with of-the-moment dance floor bangers and big-umbrella commercial sounds, along with a teasing dose of hard-edged hip-hop.
Nicki Minaj has always balked at your idea of what "real hip-hop" is, and her third studio album is another successful fuck you to her detractors. It opens with a trio of unexpectedly sombre songs, the strongest of which, All Things Go, painfully reflects on the death of her cousin and an abortion. Track four, a so-so collab with Ariana Grande, bridges the mood until Feeling Myself, featuring Beyoncé, kicks off an inspiring eight-song stretch: Only, featuring Drake and Lil Wayne, with its kick-ass opening statement; au courant trap gold Want Some More; a Biggie Smalls impression on Four Door Aventador; dancehall tribute Trini Dem Girls, one of several songs produced by master pop scribes Dr.
Part of the magic of the modern record business is that the worth of the album has been diminished. Almost anything can be a great album now — a mixtape, a cluster of songs on Soundcloud, a dump of digital files. That to some the album still has a sort of aesthetic integrity, that it should mean something different from the rest of their creative output, is an increasingly old-fashioned idea.
opinion byMATTHEW MALONE “I had to reinvent,” Nicki Minaj opens her third album. It’s a promising statement, given that she’s executed each of her previous LPs quite haphazardly. The debut, Pink Friday, found Nicki trying to access each of her powers within the limiting realm of the mainstream, a difficult task when your persona is as avant-garde as Ms.