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Its been a long time coming for Nicki Minaj’s third album “The PinkPrint”. Released in the U.S. on December 13th, with an original release date of November 28th the wait for this album has been brutal especially with talks of it being the blue print for future female rappers. With a slew of singles that were all over the place, it was hard to determine where Minaj was going with her sound but after hearing “The PinkPrint” in full I can say that Minaj did what she does best…everything. Like previous albums, Minaj didn’t rely on one genre, producer or sound throughout, instead a range of emotions and sounds can be heard on “The PinkPrint” making this album one of the rapper’s most personal and strongest offerings yet.
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 We start the album off with “All Things Go” a song that details some of the issues Minaj has been dealing with since her popularity has reached massive heights. From pill popping, a look into her family and her opinion on the industry, “All Things Go” gives you a real look into Nicki Minaj and I love the honesty on this record.

“Cherish these nights, cherish these people, life is a movie but there will never 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.”

“All Things Go” felt unexpected for an album opener but Minaj plans to keep you guessing throughout her latest effort.

On the next track “I Lied”, Minaj reminds me of Drake when he released his third album “Take Care” with some improved vocals and emotional tracks. Minaj has never sounded stronger than on “I Lied” and this track isn’t even her best singing offering on the record.  “I Lied” is a very emotional track with Nicki questioning the effects of letting her defenses down (“Cause what happens if I fall in love then you cut me loose? You just a heart breaker won’t let you break mine. Cause I’ll be smashing windows and cutting them break lines.”) This album really made me like hearing Nicki, the singer.
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I gotta be honest with you guys when I first heard “The Pinkprint” I didn’t like it. When listening to this album make sure you hear each track to the end, hearing the work that went behind the verses and production made me appreciate the album a lot more. Minaj really put her all into the album and if you skip through the album or don’t play the tracks all the way through than you miss little moments that only Nicki Minaj can do. Some tracks need to be heard multiple times to be understood.

The next track “The Crying Game” featuring the talented songstress Jessie Ware has definite single potential. Jessie Ware sounds amazing and I love that Minaj got her on the record. The production on “The Crying Game” is dope and I love Minaj’s flow to the beat. The track starts with another pill reference…Do we need to have a talk Nicki? It seems like pills may be the way Minaj copes with her crazy life if this album is any indication. I wonder if anyone will ever ask her about all of these drug references…

When I mentioned Ariana Grande being featured on “The PinkPrint” as another step away from the Nickleodeon image I was half right. While her presence on “Get on Your Knees” isn’t as sexual as I expected, Minaj’s sexually explicit verses more than makes up for what Grande doesn’t say. Nicki starts the song on with a purr and a playful punchline: “Got a bow on my panties because my ass is a present” – I like what you did there Nicki.

Oh boy the collaboration that everyone was waiting for as soon as we saw Beyoncé’s name on the tracklist. Nic and Bey decided the world was ready for round 2 with “Feeling Myself”, a mid-tempo track that has Bey taking reign of the chorus letting us know she’s “feeling herself”. Minaj always seems like she’s at her best rap-wise when she’s rapping alongside the queen. Her fiery flows are on point (or on fleek as the kids say) and she ends up spitting four solid verses throughout the track. Some people were thrown off by the slow tempo of the song but as Beyonce said on “Yonce” she doesn’t set trends she creates them (“Radio say speed it up, I just go slower.”).

There are a few small moments of the song that I won’t ruin for you guys, just know that “Feeling Myself” bangs and it has me contemplating what would happen if Beyonce and Nicki made an album like Jay and Kanye did with “Watch The Throne”. Food for thought guys….

The third single from the album “Only” has a lot of star power and I’m still not a fan of it. Minaj’s verse is good, I dig Drake on the track but with these features I feel like something better would come from it. The next two tracks “Want Some More” and “Four Door Aventador” have similar vibes to “Only” but I like them a lot more. “Want Some More” showcases Minaj’s cocky verses as she raps with a slow swagger than speeds it up with some quick bars. I love how Minaj rides the beat on this one, it really showcases her rap abilities.

“Four Door Aventador” on the other hand has a real chill vibe throughout. It reminds of how Lil Kim sounded when Biggie use to write her verses. The production is smooth as fuck and definitely a favorite of mine on the album.  The next track “Favorite” (Featuring Jeremih) and a track called “The Night Is Still Young produced by hit makers Dr. Luke and Cirkut have single potential and remind me of some of the tracks on “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”.

If I had any complaints on the album it would be the placement of “Anaconda” and “Trini Dem Girls”. “Anconda” just sounds out of place when I hear it on the album but I couldn’t hear it flowing well anywhere on the album, rather see it as a bonus track. I’m not a fan of “Trini Dem Girls (Featuring Lunchmoney Lewis” but Minaj didn’t make it for me so it’s cool. I can already see chicks dancing to the track now.
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“Bed of Lies (Featuring Skylar Grey) and “Grand Piano” round out the standard edition of the album. I love that both tracks tap more into Minaj’s emotional side and “Grand Piano” is a pretty impressive track when comparing it to Minaj’s previous rap-free songs.

The six bonus tracks I heard were good. I like Meek Mill and Nicki together, Shanghai reminds me of “Lookin Ass Niggas” and “Win Again” would most likely be my favorite out of all of them. These tracks feel like they’re more like a gift to the barbz that had to wait so long for the album and who probably dropped the extra bucks to get the full experience.  Drake and Lil Wayne return on “Truffle Butter”. I like the song the more I hear it but it reminds me of “The Motto” which isn’t a bad thing since “The Motto” is a great song but that’s all I can think about when I hear it.

Overall Nicki Minaj succeeded with this album. From getting Beyoncé to feature on a track, a task that most can’t accomplish to creating a 20 track album that has very few fillers. Time will tell if this really becomes an album that female rappers can use to mold themselves like some male rappers did with Jay’s “Blueprint” but Minaj is definitely keeping the crown with this album.

Score: 9.2/10

Must Hear Tracks: All Things Go, The Lying Game (Featuring Jessie Ware), Feeling Myself (Featuring Beyoncé), Four Door Aventador, Bed of Lies (Featuring Skylar Grey), Get On Your Knees (Featuring Ariana Grande)

Buy “The PinkPrint” on iTunes: HERE

What do you think of “The Pinkprint”? Let me know in the comments below!

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