Nicki Minaj
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Written by Tim Harvey

Nicki Minaj is FLAT OUT crazy…CRAZY…and that’s good…REAL GOOD! Barbie’s back and the lipstick is cocked and ready for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: the sequel to the album that put her right there with fellow Young Money artist Drake. Right there as more than just a Lil’ Wayne protege, but a bonafide artist that could stand alongside Weezy and Drizzy as not only the best of the best of Young Money, but the best of the rest of the rap world too.

Back on The Blueprint 2 Jay-Z rapped “Only dudes moving units, ’em, Pimp Juice and us”, in reference to Eminem, Nelly and his Rocafella Records crew. Well ‘Excuse Me Miss’ indeed, because it now seems to be just Wayne, Drake and this first lady of Cash Money making change. After mainstream mixtapes and declaring I’m The Best to open her debut classic Pink Friday, darling Nicki proved her pink reign was pouring and the shower of singles success with Eminem on Roman’s Revenge, Check It Out (featuring Will.i.am.), Your Love, Moment 4 Life (with Drake), Right Through Me, and the Rhianna-assisted Fly made sure even the competition’s strongest of umbrella holders couldn’t weather her storm.

Now ‘Roman Zolanski’ is back with another masterpiece: Pink Friday 2 unloads with a barrage of lyrical ammunition ready for a hip hop mainstream game that’s been firing blanks as of late. The crazy Roman Holiday comes hot off the heels of Nicki’s insane Grammy performance, proving there’s no vacation or down time for the leading lady of hip hop. Then Minaj has a lyrical menage with Harlem and Miami by bringing heavyweight punchline kings Cam’ron and Rick Ross to the table for the charged I Am Your Leader, setting this album off right.

Ross boasts “Monday night with the raw/I’m Vince McMahon with the beat/Power slamming them hammers I get you handle for free”, while Cam chips in with strong words from the clip, spitting “See the car is European but got imported from Tokyo/Looking like a shark, the nose call it Pinocchio”. Leave it to Nicki to finish everyone off at the beginning, however, starting this track hard with her lyrical shards. With lines like “Look sucker, this my gun butter/Street fighter b******, this the up cutter/Nunchucka’, no time to ducka’/Sign of the cross, cause this is her last suppa’/Play with me, check who came with me/I bought a couple 9′s, plus the k’s with me/I breeze through queens to check some bad b******/I stunt so hard, assess the damages”, Lil Kim and the rest are in trouble.

HOV Lane keeps things on the Jay-Z track, while the title track (Roman Reloaded) sees Nicki and her boss Lil’ Wayne go big with lyrical guns blazing. If that wasn’t enough, she makes her brother Drake even prouder following their Take Care collaboration with a massive cut featuring Nas, Young Jeezy, and of course Drake. Champion reaffirms the Queen of rap, the legendary status of the Queen’s men on record and also gives us one of the best songs of this rap year. 2012 has another great single via Chris Brown and Right By My Side, while Lil’ Wayne and Bobby V get back together with Nicki for the explicit Sex in the Lounge, which is bound to shake the mainstream up. It’s off the charts…and there’s more too. Did Chris Rock not tell these people that “there is no sex in the champagne room?”

Starships takes it out of this world, while Pound The Alarm further wakes up anyone who’s sleeping or got their clocks still behind daylight savings. Whip it and Automatic keep it all going at a high-level until Beautiful Sinner really gives us deadly beauty in all its guilty pleasure. Marilyn Monroe is here too…and what a signature favourite track that is for the ladies. Young Forever keeps this almost 30-year-old down with everyone from the kids to the Jay-Z’s of the game, and Fire Burns adds more scorches to the competition. This Miami hot, white-heated track furthers Minaj’s big three status along with the LeBron James and the Dwyane Wade of hip hop in Lil’ Wayne and Drake.

The Super Bass singer adds more fire with Beenie Man on the dance hall destroying Gun Shot. There’s also more Va Va Vooom and Guetta on the Deluxe Edition of this record, but how better to set this CD straight than finish with the single diss of Stupid H**? As Barbie takes everyone to task with barbs like “I get it cracking like a bad back/B**** talkin she the queen when she looking like a lab rat” Nicki Minaj need say no more. As she places the crown back firmly on her head, it’s clear the rest of the female rappers out there were just wearing tiaras. All hail the queen. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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