nicki vs. roman : pink friday roman reloaded
Hello HairyKats and welcome back to the tracklist. On the eve of the release of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday Roman Reloaded I have my copy , I have listened from start to finish, and will share my thoughts.
I've been reading this book called from Good to Great and there is this chapter about getting the right people on the bus that will in essence be down in any phase of the process of getting to the goal of greatness. I'm not sure if that applies here. While Nicki is I'm sure well paid for who she's become I'm not sure if her original fan base will be on board with this one. I wouldnt call her commercial just yet, I'll just call her the first female rapper to crossover? But has she? Has her crossover to pop music been a success? If you ask the Archdioese, they would def say no! LOL! Are we being too cynical in not recognizing her evolution as an artist? I would say if this was her intention then we (rap fans) have been fooled. We were so excited to finally have a female rapper, on the other hand with Super Bass going triple platinum, perhaps we should release our love for Nicki as a rapper and embrace her as the pop-star she obviously always wanted to be.
If you are a Nicki Minaj (the female rapper) fan you will hate this album half way through after you've fallen in love with the first 6 tracks. You go, this album is the shit, exactly what I've been waiting for and then you go, oh no, what happened? . Nicki is just a visitor on this album, which is I'm sure the point, but its not a point well taken. I loved the mixed tape Nicki, the hunger that you heard in her words on each and every track. She's visits this album on the first few tracks. She's raw, she's shit talking, she's who we originally fell in love with.
I will say that I thoroughly understand Roman. Roman is allowed to be who Nicki is not. I'm pretty sure Onika Maraj deals with the criticims of "you've changed", your not that same chick that you used to be, but should she be? I'm pretty sure Nicki did whatever she had to do to get her foot in the door but once she found her seat at the top she is now at a point of creatively doing what she wants. The question is how creative is it?
This album is all over the place. She raps she sings and smack dab in the middle of it you feel like you're on ecstasy at some rave for almost the rest of the album. (Lucky for her I'm currently in my Jersey-shore like music phase....especially when tequilla is involved). But I'm sober and want to vibe to the sounds of one my favorite artists. Double Disc anyone? The flow of the album is very sectional, about 5 lyrical rap songs, a few slow like jams, and the rest pop/dance tracks. She is indeed trying to cater to the masses but as a collective it doesnt work. At least not for me.
But could you forsee the chick that everyone wanted to know featured on that Five-Star Chick record doing this? She seems defensive in Roman Reloaded, stating "I guess I went commercial", she did. That's her choice, she's paid for it, she is an actress and she is playing her role. But the performance seems so mediocre at times. It doesnt feel believable. I dont feel like Nicki is fully committed to Roman not as much as T.I. was committed to T.I.P. or Beyonce was to Sasha Fierce. No, Nicki isnt the first to have an alter ego, but hers seems a bit more lackluster, a little less planned out, I don't see the character fully developed. I knew exactly when T.I. was T.I.P. or when Beyonce was Sasha she would go from an angelic voice to twerking it...lol! But Nicki and Roman seem to overlap each other in a sense...and perhaps that's the point, but I rather it not be sold to me as if Roman and Nicki are not one in the same, otherwise the act confuses the audience. I always understood Roman to be apart of Nicki but while listening to the album, I didnt get a real feel of who Roman is...but before listening I had a perception of Roman as previously presented and that is not the Roman that is on the Pink Friday reloaded album. Do I sound confused? I'm confused? Damn you Nicki! LOL
I honestly feel a sense of insecurity in being Roman. Roman would have murdered all his critics, opponents, and even loved ones (Nicki, his mother?) on EVERY track, and he did not! Roman would have took the formula that was Roman's Revenge on Pink Friday and spread it all across this album and he did not. Instead Roman chewed some mushrooms and hit the dance clubs in a city near you, after Nicki rapped a taste, slow grinded, and let him have his way. That is the formula of Roman Reloaded! (He must still be a young boy on this album)
Like I said, if you're looking for your favorite female rapper she appears occassionally on tracks like I Am Your Leader ft. Rick Ross and Cam'ron and Champion ft. Nas, Jeezy, and Drake and HOV Lane, and my FAVORITE! Beez in the Trap ft. 2 Chainz, but for the remainder of the album Roman rules???, but not really, I'm not sure who's in control here. Maybe that was her vision! If so I'm definetly left scratching my temple.
If you ask me if I like this album I would say, its cool, shoulder shrug, its not awful, its just not what I anticipated it to be. I just expected this over the top raw rap album. This insane unstable character bleeding through track after track but it seems as if Roman is a lover and a partier and not so much the female rapper that I love in Nicki. As an original Minaj fan, like pre-Pink Friday, I would say, if I could get a complete album of Onika Maraj the lyricist that had my ears in awe I'd be estatic. If she did an entire album of tracks like Monster, Did it on Em, I'd go ,yes we finally have that female rapper we've been waiting for. I miss her and maybe she'll return on a mixtape, maybe she wont? I must admit on the first album Save Me was a shocker and ended up being my FAVORITE SONG! I mean I played it so much the disc started skipping and I could only play it on my ipod and computer. So...maybe...just maybe, I'm being too pessimistic in being open minded about my favorite artists crossing over. Usher definetly had me feeling the same way on the Raymond vs. Raymond album, but his execution was unquestionable. I feel like Roman Reloaded is sort of like a movie you go and see and you have an idea of the plot and characters based on the previews and it turns out to be that the previews provided no real guidance of what the movie was actually about. Make sense? Nah? lol shrug.
I am still a fan, just disappointed, and hoping this album will grow on me. But I didnt want it to, I wanted to fall in love at first listen, and that didnt happen! Maybe I'm being closed minded and putting Nicki in a box that Roman wants to be out of. I respect her vision just not the delivery of it. I was expecting some crazy off the wall rapping track after track, because Roman is not well-behaved, correct?....shrugs...boomdaboomboom boomdaboomboom hey...lol. At the end of the day I respect the fact that Nicki Minaj is the only female rapper sitting in her position, you can hate it or love it but its fact.
I look forward to seeing how her outdated contenders will respond to her album.
Check out the Press Conference ft. Charlemagne and Safaree which offers some real perspective into the mind of Nicki Minaj!
On that note, in the spirit of this blog, let's check out some of my fav Nicki Minaj Hair!