Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint (Album Review)

Nicki Minaj's latest offering The Pinkprint, a title that pays homage to Jay Z's The Blueprint, shows Minaj traveling down the more mainstream road. I can't say I've ever been the biggest Minaj fan. She always seems like half talent with half gimmick and whichever one she's playing on at the moment really determines if the song is going to be an interesting listen or really dreadful. She had a really strong guest verse on the Kanye West song "Monster" and a fairly strong debut album in spots. Minaj's rapid fire rhyming seemed to be the ticket at first. Her flow seemed to be a hybrid of Lil' Kim with nods to Missy Elliot, who I would consider to be one of the best female rappers. I'm feeling less enthusiastic about Minaj with The Pinkprint. Yeah, there are songs that you can listen to on here and obviously she has some talent, but the album seems to want to compete more with up and comers like Iggy Azaela and focus less on Minaj showing she's more than just a one trick pony or a cheap gimmick.

"Anaconda" samples the classic Sir-Mix-A-Lot song "Baby Got Back" and threatens to show you what if the gimmick won. The song is about butts, the video is about butts, and that's about it. The beat really just replays the classic parts of the Mix-A-Lot song making it instantly likeable because hey that song is really popular. However, after the initial interest wears off it feels insanely empty. Like I'm talking emptier than the popcorn bucket at the end of the movie. It also has the problem of being too long. The song is a whopping four minutes and twenty seconds long. It feels about a minute and a half too long at least. It comes off as redundant. It's a good and poor single choice. It's good because of the beat and poor because of the length and content of the song. I guess the content could be good to some because it is part of her gimmick and people seem to be flocking to it. It is officially her highest charting single.

"Want Some More" is one of the better tracks on the album showing Minaj's clever lyrical ability and better than average flow. It has a really good beat. "Grand Piano" a song where Minaj sings showcases her more talented side. It's a piano based song and it's an interesting song for the album. It shows more of an artistic side of Minaj. It's kind of crazy to think "Grand Piano" and "Anaconda" are on the same album, but like I mentioned Minaj has the talent versus gimmick plague on most everything she releases. It's followed up by a song called "Big Daddy" that has a beat that, to me, feels like a generic mixtape beat. I wasn't a fan of the Meek Mill feature. I didn't like Minaj's rhymes on the song. It felt pretty hollow. I wasn't a huge fan of the lyrical content throughout a lot of the album, but it is consistent with a lot of Minaj's other lyrical content.

The album, as a whole, isn't nearly as interesting as I would have liked it to have been especially with a name like The Pinkprint. Which to me is a statement saying: "here's how it is done...take notes!" I think this album is probably her most commercially appealing album. I think tons of songs on this album could find a spot for radio and could possibly compete with the current "it girl" Iggy Azalea. However, I think  Azalea created a better and more interesting album (even though it also suffers from the talent vs gimmick plague as well). This album steers away from some of the things I liked on earlier Minaj albums and more towards things I generally didn't like about Minaj and her music. There are moments when her talent really shines through, but those moments often get watered down a little too much for me to enjoy the album as a whole. There is probably a solid EPs worth of material here. It's not too bad, but this could have been much better.

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