Rap / Hip-Hop
Young Money / Cash Money / Republic Records
A lot of people have been proclaiming Nicki Minaj as one of the “queens” of the rap and pop industry. It’s hard to deny the fact, given the amount of successes she has had this year. She’s hosted award shows, released one of the songs of the summer, and continues to do more and more. The Pinkprint, her third studio album, is going to be her closer for the year, her “pinkprint” on the year, per say.
One of the things I enjoy most about the album is her trip back to her mixtape roots as a primarily rap artist. Before she was known for her “dance-pop” sound, she was an up-and-coming rapper from the Young Money label. On The Prinkprint, she leaves that “dance-pop” sound from Pink Friday and brings back her older sounds.
The album starts off with a pretty emotional track from Nicki, which is not to characteristic of the singer. “All Things Go” is an open door to her love life, her family, as well as her abortion that she had to go through. The song is then followed with “I Lied” and “The Crying Game”, which both showcase the vocal talent of Nicki as well as her emotional side. At this point, I thought I was listening to a deep and emotional R&B album…until the next songs started to ramp up the energy.
“Get On Your Knees” featuring Ariana Grande was energetic, but nothing really special. The song was then followed by “Feeling Myself”, which was actually one of my favorite songs from the album. It features verses from both Nicki and Beyonce, who both come off as cocky, which is no surprise given the position they have in pop culture as of late.
Other stand-out songs include “Only”, which was the banger featuring verses from Drake and Lil Wayne, and a hook by Chris Brown. The thing that makes this song stand out is the things that the Young Money founders set straight on the track. We also have “Trini Dem Girls”, which features a little help from Lunchmoney Lewis. The song is probably one of the cooler sounding songs on the album, giving tribute to Nicki’s Trinidadian roots.
“The Night Is Still Young” is a pop-infused song which provides a lot of vivacity to the album. “Pills N Potions”, one of the first singles that was released from the album, is another one of my favorites. It’s a soft-spoken, yet powerful song that features a mesmerizing hook.
Your probably wondering why I’ve made it this far talking about The Pinkprint without mentioning “Anaconda”, arguably her most popular song of the album. Even though it is her most popular song, doesn’t mean it’s her best. In fact, it’s probably far from her best. The overtly sexual nature of the song will probably put most off, and the song gets pretty old when you listen to it a couple of times. The Sir-Mix-A-Lot sample was probably the coolest part about the song, and that’s about it.
The album closes with the deeply emotional “Grand Piano”, where Nicki delves into a man who has lied to her, “playing her heart like a grand piano.” It’s a fitting end to an album that begun in a similar way; a deep venture into her once private situations that she was dealing with. She doesn’t have anything to hide anymore.
The Pinkprint remarkably shows off the vocal variety that Nicki Minaj has when it comes to her music. The album features a mix of emotional ballads, lyrical rap prowess, club bangers, and “poppy” radio hits. It’s all there in Nicki’s arsenal. There is still part of me that wishes she would just pick one style and run with it though.
This album was probably my favorite Nicki Minaj album. However, this might not be the same for everybody. She got popular with her dance-pop sound and not too much of that sound is present on the album. If you are wondering whether you should get the album, it probably just depends on what type of Nicki you are into. Although, there is a bit of everything on the album.