Album review: Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint

It seems as though the gap is closing between Minaj's on and offstage personas, and, so far, that's a good thing.
The Pink Print by Nicki Minaj.
The Pink Print by Nicki Minaj.

The Pinkprint

Nicki Minaj

(Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records)

Four stars

Maybe we knew – even in 2010 – when Nicki Minaj released her debut set, that beneath the fluorescent wigs and zany accents, there resided a ­real-life grown-up.

But not until now, with her third release, The Pinkprint has Minaj conveyed that message so clearly. The set’s first single, Pills N Potions, captures the heart and soul of the album, even with songs such as the Drake and Lil Wayne-­assisted Only and Anaconda drumming up considerable buzz.

Throughout her latest set, Minaj oscillates between boss and broken. She lives up to the compliment with sharp ­story telling on the sinister Four Door Aventador, which has her name-dropping everyone from designer Donna Karan to actor Shia LaBeouf.

She’s bold on Favorite featuring Jeremih, and cocky on ­Feelin’ Myself featuring Beyoncé, but it’s Minaj’s aching that is endearing.

Minaj also refers to a ­decade-ago marriage proposal – a titbit that lines up with rumours that the rapper’s hypeman Safaree Samuels had for many years been her romantic partner, and is now the subject of songs alluding to hurt and betrayal, including The Crying Game and Bed of Lies.

It seems as though the gap is closing between Minaj’s on and offstage personas and, so far, that’s a good thing.

Published: December 22, 2014 04:00 AM