Nicki Minaj is the biggest hypocrite and conformist the music industry has seen in years. She raps about how “ ’cause (she’s) still hood, Hollywood couldn’t change (her).” Wrong.

Nicki Minaj

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Cash Money

Once you realize RedOne produced nearly a third of her newest album and two other songs were produced by Dr. Luke, too many other pop artists come to mind. Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are just a few of the acts who abuse the popularity of these writer-producers to no end — and clearly it works out for them.

Promotion for this album began with a rocky start, to say the least. The first song released to promote the album, “Roman In Moscow,” doesn’t even appear on the official track list (coincidentally, it wasn’t very popular).

The second attempt to build up the album, “Stupid Hoe,” was a song and video with negative feedback rivaled only by Rebecca Black herself. This cleverly titled masterpiece left many fans with doubts regarding the quality of the upcoming album. And let’s not even discuss that atrocious excuse for a Grammy performance.

Even with all this being said, this album is one of the best albums that has been released this year, if not the past few years. It incorporates everything: the rap, the pop, the dubstep, the collaborations with other famous artists and the image.

Minaj’s embarrassingly silly alter ego actually does the album a lot of favors. Its rap-heavy half pleases all the Young Money fans, while the pop-heavy half is music to the ears of the electronic mainstream crowd.

And luckily for Minaj, RedOne seems to have put a great deal of effort toward incorporating a new dubstep sound into his production, not previously typical of his work. Given the lasting success of the album’s first official single, “Starships,” this touch appears to be working.

In songs like “Automatic,” the up-tempo melodic catchiness can’t be denied — complemented with a creative hint of dubstep like most other tracks on this half of the album — but the presence of the artist leaves little to be desired. The nearly complete lack of rap in the song might be crossing a little too far into pop territory for Minaj.

Logically speaking, the album should be a two-disk record with one side containing the nutcase personality and the other containing the conformist, but Minaj would be under heavy fire for pulling an I Am…Sasha Fierce.

Speaking of album titles, this is another aspect of the work that is a tad confusing. Understandably, rappers enjoy having some chronology to their albums (e.g. The Carter albums), but Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded sounds like a rereleased version of Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday. And with good reason, seeing as that’s what Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded was.

Up until the release of “Starships,” Nicki Minaj has continually made a fool of herself and a fool of her work. With any luck, a few spoiled tracks in combination with Minaj’s antics won’t stop the album from shining through.

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