Royalty. It’s a word that is thrown around a lot these days. There’s the William and Kate kind. And then the real kind, the Jay Z and Beyonce kind. Obviously. And then there’s Lorde over there bursting everyone’s bubbles. But like Jay-Z’s iconic album The Blueprint, Nicki Minaj has dropped her third album and sealed the deal as this century’s Queen Of Rap.
The album aptly titled The Pinkprint is an unexpectedly personal piece of work by Minaj. Like me, it would appear this woman has layers. There’s the shock value, booty poppin’ Minaj that we see in tracks like Anaconda, the reflective and honest Minaj we see wrestling with the price of fame in tracks like All Things Go, the solemn R’n’B sweetheart Minaj on tracks like Pills n Potions and the self indulgent, self worshipping Minaj of Feelin’ Myself. Which funnily enough features another Queen in Beyonce.
Beyonce is just one of the impressive featured artists on The Pinkprint. Get On Your Knees has an awesome vocal from It-Girl Ariana Grande, while Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown slay it on Only. This is the overtly sexual and explicit Nicki Minaj in all her glory. The really impressive stuff however is in her calmer, reflective moments where the fairy floss wig wearing, Mariah Carey barb slinging, cartoon Hip Hop mama almost seems, human.
She speaks of wanting to pack it all in and have a family. She speaks of the price of fame and alludes to her exhaustion. It is unexpectedly heart wrenching, more Drake than Kanye, and quite sensational. The opening All Things Go spells it out, Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel / And I’m good with that, as long as I’m peaceful / As long as 7 years from now, I’m taking my daughter to preschool / Cherish these days, man do they go quick / Just yesterday, I swear it was o’ six.
The Pinkprint has an old school Hip-Hop feel to it, before every musician had to look like Katy Perry or be remixed by David Guetta to reach superstardom. She even calls on Biggie in Four Door Aventador which is arguably the biggest nod to times gone by. The chosen singles haven’t impressed me on their own quite so much, but as a complete body of work The Pinkprint kills it. It is a more grown up and serious Nicki Minaj, demanding respect from the Hip Hop world and doing just enough to appease her Pop fans on the way and I think is only going to be more appreciated with time. The overflowing 22 track listing is as nostalgic as it is vile, and I mean that in the best way. It’s without doubt her greatest work to date and I for one am hoping she’s still making beats 7 years from now while she’s taking her daughter to preschool.