Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is so frantic and packed with such an array of musical awesomeness, it’s not worth it to review a CD with a total of 22 tracks (including bonus). So I decided to stay true to my list format and rank the songs on the new effort from worst to best. (Not really sure why I didn’t think of this sooner.) Keep in mind, this CD is insane and none of the songs are awful. I might even argue this is better than the original Pink Friday.
Apparently this was a Britney reject. I can see why. It’s a little sloppy and there’s nothing special about this other than the lyric “Master the merry go round.” I appreciate the attempt at some depth though. This is the definition of a bonus track.
21. Sex In The Lounge
Nicki’s verse really makes no sense with the title or the rest of the song. It sort of sounds like something T Pain would sing. A little too over synthesized. But truly not bad.
20. Va Va Voom
It’s not a surprise this was a bonus track. Unlike the three bonus tracks on the original Pink Friday, these aren’t quite as good as the rest. However, this is definitely listen-able and the versus are actually quite creative.
19. Pound The Alarm
Not a huge fan of the build. It sounds way too much like Taio Cruz’s Dynamite. But the beat that comes in right after is perfect for any dance floor. This, like most of Nicki’s dance songs, sound like two different songs.
18. Roman Holiday
Nicki wants us to know her alter ego Roman is mentally unstable and a little batshit crazy. So in that sense, this is a great way to start the CD.
17. Beez In The Trap
A very welcome throwback to Nicki’s mixtape days.
16. Fire Burns
One of the most personal tracks on the CD. The way the chord changes with her voice during the words in the title are actually beautiful.
15. Marilyn Monroe
Respectable because it sounds nothing like a song Nicki Minaj would sing. It might take a few listens to get used to the lyric “This must be how Marilyn Monroe felt,” but once you give it a few listens, it’s a very welcome break from the crazed bonkers Nicki that takes up much of the CD. This one has to click.
14. I Am Your Leader
A mix between classic Neptunes and something Kanye would do now. Guest rappers Rick Ross and Cam Ron bring their best, and with Nicki along for the ride, this beat is crazy.
13. Turn Me On
This David Guetta track was killer when it came out a few months ago. It pushed Nicki to a new vocal limit and let us hear her in a way we never had before. It’s still just as good here. It’s nearly impossible to not be on board with the “Doctor doctor need you back home in bed.”
It seems like Nicki wanted to get into the clubs. A song like this wouldn’t have been possible on the original Pink Friday. It’s high techno and dancy. This is a welcome sound for her that she seems to blend flawlessly with the hardcore Roman tracks. Turn Me On opened the door for this one.
11. HOV Lane
One of the best straight up raps on the CD. The beat on this one is so hardcore it would make my grandmother throw up her middle finger with the windows down and go rob a bank.
10. Whip It
The reason this one is ahead of HOV Lane is because she blends the rapping with the synthesized dance beat wonderfully, probably better than any other dance song on the CD. It leads to an extremely poppy chorus that is so undeniable catchy and one of the best on the CD. When she sings, “Hey stranger over there. I’m really liking the way you whip it whip it.” It’s impossible not to smile. Even if it’s a blatant ripoff of Jennifer Lopez’s On The Floor (only much better), this is the type of song that brings people together.
9. Right By My Side
Some people aren’t loving this song. Other than the fact that Chris Brown is featured heavily, I can’t really understand why. The chorus is mediocre, but the rest of the track is great. It’s like a throwback to old school R&B jams. She sings “It all comes down to this.” And it totally does.
8. Stupid Hoe
You know this is Nicki is soon as that woop woop starts. It’s similar in sound to Muny from Pink Friday. I’m a little tired of the Lil Kim disses (can’t we all just get along?) but seriously, I’ll pick my battles. Shit is cray.
It sounds like it came directly from Save Me and Here I Am from Pink Friday. Regardless, it only builds on those songs and doesn’t take away from them. It’s only fitting Drake shares the track. The song is deeply personal, “This is for the hood. This is for the kids. They killed my little cousin Nicholas. But the memory’s only happy images.” This is one of Nicki’s personal best. Her writing skills really shine here.
6. Beautiful Sinner
“You’re a cheat and a liar, but tonight you’re everything I desire.” If Nicki wants to continue going down the dance road, this is how she needs to do it. A surprisingly strong vocal as well.
5. Gun Shot
The piano that pops up throughout this song has somewhat become a trademark of slow Nicki jams. She puts on the Rihanna accent here at times, which doesn’t really make any sense. Regardless, despite this killer misleading title, it’s a beautiful song. Hey, Beenie Man.
If you like everything on the radio over the past two years, you will love this song. It’s not very original (the “woah oh oh’s are very similar to Britney’s Til The World Ends) but it’s like Nicki listened to every dance track that was being over played, turned them into one song, and made it all better. This one is so undeniably catchy and fun. For the creativity alone in perfecting a pop song, this deserves to be so high on the list.
3. Come On A Cone
This is very much a sequel to Did It On Em. Similar sound, similar lyrics. When she sings heartedly “If you wasn’t so ugly I’d put my dick in your face. I put my dick on your face, my dick on your face,” as though she’s telling someone she loves them, it’s genuinely hilarious. The comical side of Nicki shines here. It’s so enjoyable. There’s too many one liners to mention. This CD should come on a cone.
2. Roman Reloaded
Definitely the hardest Nicki goes on the CD. The beat is so hard and steady and it’s some of the best shit talking Nicki does since Did It On Em. “Take you bitches to school, then I Columbine these hoes.” Too far? “My shit bang, ba bang bang.” “My ex wanna work it out, I said bitch, try yoga.”
1. Young Forever
I can’t say enough good things about this song. If Nicki and her people know what’s good for them, they’ll release this as a single with a video counterpart in late May so this can play all summer long. It’s not the side we all know from Nicki, but this song is a genuine heartfelt story of young love. ( I think) “Frozen in time, always be mine, baby boy you’ll be young forever.” This song is seriously beautiful with a soaring anthemic chorus that will likely be over killed on the radio. “Don’t say goodbye, look in my eyes, so that I always will remember.” Finally a Nicki track I can play all the way through for my parents.
I really didn’t think Nicki would be able to top the original Pink Friday, and with the mix of old school mix tape tracks with the new dance tracks I was legitimately fearful of a displaced and messy album. This is not the case. I’m glad Nicki took the time to perfect this, because it really is near perfection. Despite the Bonus Tracks (save Turn Me On) this CD is exactly how a rapper does it. It’s equally as personal as Kanye’s Twisted Fantasy with that Minaj touch that is so unique to her. I declared Pink Friday as the best female rap album of all time. I think Nicki just topped herself.