Being dubbed as the Lady GaGa of Hip-hop, Nicki Minaj already has build enough hype that by her first record, she has a lot to live up to. Seemingly featured on nearly as many hip-hop, R&B and pop singles as Lil’Wayne and Drake combined, Nicki manages to keep Pink Friday down to just 13 tracks.
The first track is lyrically typical for rap called I’m The Best, but the delivery is what gives Nicki the bragging rights. It’s just the beginning. Immediately following is one of the highlights from Pink Friday. The Eminem collaboration Roman’s Revenge. Nicki is at her best when the personality oozes through her words and this song is prime example. I can’t help but be reminded slightly of Missy Elliott on one of her playful tracks from the So Addictive era.
In fact, it’s the tracks in which she raps that Nicki shines. Her vocals are spot on but with the ability that she has at rapping, why sacrifice that for the sake of a mellow mid-tempo. Of course there are the exceptions. The single Right Thru Me and Fly with Rihanna on the chorus. There’s a collaboration that would have been in demand had it not been delivered already…twice. Fly is the sister-track to Raining Men on Rihanna’s record that Nicki assists.
A collaboration that, on paper, has potential but doesn’t quite deliver is Blazin’ featuring Kanye West that is surprisingly not as impressive as one would expect. Kanye’s verse doesn’t sound as appealing as other verses he’s given his skills to. It’s okay though because it follows Check It Out, which is enough fun to cancel out whatever track comes after. That song, which features will.I.Am heavily samples Radio Killed The Radio Star and is the most fun track on Pink Friday.
Nicki is at her best when doing her off-side wonky raps, which are far too few on this album but seem to appear more when she’s a featured guest on other tracks. Pink Friday is a good debut record and shows that she has more versatility as an artist and singer but Nicki has shown that she has more strengths than what has made the cut here.
1. I’m The Best
2. Roman’s Revenge [featuring Eminem]
3. Did It On’Em
4. Right Thru Me
5. Fly [featuring Rihanna]
6. Save Me
7. Moment 4 Life [featuring Drake]
8. Check It Out [featuring will.I.Am]
9. Blazin’ [featuring Kanye West]
10. Here I Am
11. Dear Old Nicki
12. Your Love
13. Last Chance [featuring Natasha Bedingfield]