If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, iconic rapper Nicki Minaj should be plenty flattered. In the 90s, a little known rapper named Lil Kim retroactively swiped Nicki's style and made it her own. Kim caught the attention of hip-hop heads by imitating Minaj's looks and hawking suspiciously familiar themes in her music. But with the recent release of Pink Friday, the original hip-hop queen Nicki Minaj is here to reclaim her throne.
The bad news is that Minaj's desire to turn the rap world pink has garnered mild attention in the media. For some reason, industry tastemakers have been extremely restrained in their praise of Queen Minaj. That's bizarre, considering that she's the most important artist of any genre since the inception of music. Her words make MC Lyte sound like Lil Mama. Legend has it that when Nicki Minaj performs, the sky turns pink and a lightning bolt strikes earth to symbolize the collective approval of all the celestial bodies. Her voice has been known to reward those within earshot with the gift of eternal life. Her CD is made from unicorn tears for extra healing.
To say that every self-serving hip-hop head is excited about Pink Friday would be a gross understatement. If you're not excited about this album, you might as well be brain dead. There's no rapper, dead or alive, that can rival Minaj's Viva Glam-flavored raps. She'll roast them alive and make a blond weave out of their carcass.
The rhymes on Pink Friday are so grimy, so brutally hard-boiled that they practically burn the pot. "Roman's Revenge" is a public excoriation of her notorious impersonator Lil Kim. "Right Thru Me" is an exercise in Shakespearean prose that is worthy of the Nobel Prize. One day we will look back at hip-hop and wonder how we made it all these years without Nicki Minaj.
We've waited for decades for a hip-hop messiah. Thankfully, Nicki Minaj has been graceful enough to answer the clarion call. You have only yourself to blame if you don't buy Pink Friday. Empty your piggy bank. Borrow from a friend if you have to. Call in sick and run to the nearest Best Buy right now and buy seven copies of Pink Friday.
Next up: Minaj's sophomore album, tentatively titled Gurl, Nice Weave, in which she'll revolutionize the art of emceeing by burping rhythmically on 2-tone beats.
Rating: 6 out 5 StarsRelease Date: Nov. 22, 2010