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Pink Friday Is Good!


Like B.O.B’s The Adventures Of Bobby Ray, Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday is a straight pop album with really great rapping jammed between soaring hooks and sitting on top of the shiny, four-on-the-floor, occasionally emo beats. And it’s that production aspect that explains why Pink Friday is becoming something the internet wants to pretend never happened.

What’s the problem, again? Nicki Minaj doesn’t ignore the rapping side of her talents for that pop sound, she mixes them together, and so, there’s still plenty to appreciate here. When she does employ this very specific type of pop production, it’s towards something a bit more moving and real. Both singles “Your Love,” and “Right Thru Me” are light, electronic dance songs without a whole lot of rapping, but they’re emotional and open–like a smarter, more lived-in version of B.O.B’s livejournal malaise. “Your Love” in particular, is an aggressive and kinder take on the “ride or die” chick rap song and “Right Thru Me” is a lose-all-control breakup song that maintains its composure. These aren’t girly love songs and people suggesting that to be the case are being straight sexist.

Other songs sound like the radio but remain casually subversive via unnecessarily great, really fun rapping: “Check It Out” and “Massive Attack” are highlights of this tenuous approach. Nicki really handles these pop songs well and uses their ridiculous, sensuous immediacy towards something more. Then there are the few rap-pop songs full of specific, touching feelings that occasionally go off-the-rails and find Nicki dropping a C-bomb (“Roman’s Revenge”), tearing apart a beat based around the song from The Breakfast Club (“Blazin”), or composing a rap letter to her old, less fortunate a bit more unstable hard-headedly underground self (“Dear Old Nicki”).

The issue seems to be what Pink Friday merges its rapping with (Billboard pop) and not the simple fact that it isn’t some kind of pedal-to-the-metal rap album. So, Lil B and Tyler can reference Ariel Pink and Kanye can get all baroque and prog-rock-like, but Nicki Minaj can’t pillow her excellent raps with an almost Miley Cyrus sheen and get away with it? This isn’t a question of purity, it’s a lunkheaded bias against the type of impurity she’s enacted and well, you’re just not allowed to mitigate fusion like that.

Written by Brandon

November 18th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Nicki Minaj

6 Responses to 'Pink Friday Is Good!'

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  1. I need to listen to this.


    19 Nov 10 at 2:26 am

  2. I totally agree with your review. It’s not a rap album but it’s HER album and I <3 it. I was worried that it wasn't gonna have any introspective songs. Like I thought Right Thru Me would be the only one. But obviously, that's not the case. Pink Friday may not be everyone's cup of tea but it sure is mine :D


    19 Nov 10 at 10:03 am

  3. [...] Pink Friday Is Good! – Brandon Soderberg discusses the merits of  Nikki Minaj’s genre bending and blending debut album. [...]

    Blogospheric Conditions: More November Links | The T.R.O.Y. Blog

    21 Nov 10 at 10:02 pm

  4. I am listening to this album right now, so my opinion might change, but the “ballad” songs so far seem pretty terrible. “Right Thru Me” to “Moment 4 Life” are the singles I expect to hear on the radio, and then expect that I never want to hear a whole album of those types of songs.

    I am up to “Blazin” so far, and well this song seems like it could fit right in the middle of “Purple Haze”.


    22 Nov 10 at 1:14 am

  5. ayo bro you wrote an article on p4k today. ayo


    23 Nov 10 at 5:34 am

  6. Ian-
    Thanks, man!


    23 Nov 10 at 6:43 am

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