The Top 50 Albums of Year 2010… #23 NICKI MINAJ “Pink Friday”
23. NICKI MINAJ “Pink Friday”
Sharp-tongued Nicki Minaj was hyped to be the biggest thing of 2010. From online blogs (this one included), to music critics and rap fans whose interest in Minaj had been piqued by her early mixtapes and appearance on Kanye West’s incredible new single “Monster”. It was all heading towards Minaj being the one to watch carefully by years end with world domination at the reach of her fingertips. But then when her debut LP ‘Pink Friday’ was released, it seemed as though a few of those pledging faithful decided to take back their accolades for Nicki. The reason being that Pink Friday was a little too pop, rather than being a hip-pop record. Discouragement of the masses aside, Pink Friday holds up as one of the more consistently schizophrenic records (in, bizarrely, a totally cohesive way) of the year and does so – usually – in a really smart fashion that not only showcases how great a rapper Minaj is, but also how finely tined her singing abilities are; Bitch can more than carry a tune.
Opener “I’m The Best” serves as Fridays second best song, with sassy lyrics making it the perfect way to introduce people to Minaj, before bumrushing its way into the true highlight here; Minaj teaming up with Eminem on the fucking brilliant “Roman’s Revenge.” Everything about this song – rumoured to be a diss record about nemesis Lil’ Kim – is perfect in every way, including when Minaj refers to herself as being a “bad bitch, I’m a cunt.” The verses will make you shout “Ooooh, Kim got served!”, the production is angry and bombastic in all the right ways, and it’s the only track on here that truly channels Minaj’s “Monster” rapping abilities. This is one of the best Hip Hop songs of the last 10 years and, hopefully, a glimpse into what we might get from Minaj come album number two.
“Did It On’em” also sits nicely with the Hip Hop moments of Friday, while lovely – and perhaps a little surprising – moments like “Right Thru Me” and the Annie Lennox-sampling “Your Love” prove Nicki’s more than capable of whipping up a proper Urban Ballad. will.i.am collaboration “Check It Out” deserves more credit than it’s gotten through the year; one of the best uses of a familiar sample all year with engaging verses (and a killer rap half-way) from Minaj that make you wanna move.
The worst part about Pink Friday is the omission of one of her most banging tracks, the personality-drenched “Massive Attack”. It’s literally her third best song and it’s not even on here! WHY?
“Pink Friday” might not be what fans had expected from Minaj, but it’s a perfect example of somebody whose musical feet can effortlessly dip themselves into various genres while still developing a truly individual feel to her songs.