Perhaps it’s her larger-than-life personality that fans have grown to expect from the self-proclaimed Barbie. It could be the exhilarated rapping that led Rolling Stone to dub her the new queen of hip-hop. Whatever the case is, Nicki Minaj seems to appeal to everyone.
Her debut album, Pink Friday, tries to speak to every demographic but just seems like it has an identity crisis. The disc features an incoherent blend of ballads, hardcore rap and dance tracks. The bipolar nature of the album seems like the first meeting of rapper Nicki Minaj, alter ego Roman Zolanski and Onika Miraj—Minaj’s birth name.
Chart-topping single “Your Love” as well as the mid-album cut “Save Me” offer satisfaction for the R&B lover while “I’m The Best” allows Minaj to return to her mixtape roots. The second song, “Roman’s Revenge,” is arguably the best on the album—a diss track with a solid beat, it receives much of its energy from an Eminem feature.
Other notable songs include her second single, “Right Thru Me,” in which the enchanting rhythm can’t save the song from elementary lyrics like “You let me win/You let me ride/You let me rock/You let me slide.” “Did It on ’Em” suffers from an ever-present hype man in the background that sounds like a remix done by a DJ that you downloaded illegally. “Check It Out” seems misplaced and forces a strange and unwelcome break from the Brooklyn-born rapper who isn’t afraid of anything.
In fact, it seems like the only tracks worth listening to on Pink Friday are the ones where Minaj is singing in some form. Minaj displays more of a talent for singing than she does for wordplay, and her debut album makes her seem like more of a lady-in-waiting than a queen.