Last week saw us diving into critical music buying as Midge's MDNA was released 2 weeks ago and now the hottest/most anticipated hip- hop album for the first part of the year has also been released for our digestion. First let me say that Nicki is a genus! That in place this album also shows her business woman savvy but I’ll get to that a bit later.
Roman Reloaded Is a Hip Hop record but the first thing you get from it is that it transcends ...
Hip hop/rap/urban audiences because even a country music listener can feel, understand and enjoy what Nicki/Roman is saying. Nicki starts the record as one of her numerous personas and the main one right now (which the record is based on), Roman. Roman takes off in a big way from where her double platinum Pink Friday record left off but the punch here is that its grime, raw and its definitely Roman. She starts with "Roman Holliday" which she performed at the last Grammy Awards (to skeptical and basically enraged critical responses). I know it’s supposed to come off as spiritually and mentally deep but I just love the fact that it’s crazy and wild at the same time. It’s pretty obvious that she was inspired a bit by Christmas thus the "Come All Ye Faithfull, Joyful and triumphant ...". She continues the raw roman rhyme spitting persona on songs like "Come On A Cone", "I Am Your Leader" (I love love love this one and it’s funny how she just stops in the middle with a singing rendition of the jaw dropping "d... in your face, I put that d... in your face"), "Beez in The Trap", "Hove Lane" and the title track "Roman Reloaded". in my opinion, these songs are not only good and feature Cray M.C's like Weezy, Cam'Ron, Rozay and 2 Chainz (who is hot right now; he’s going to be on the G.O.O.D records album), they were also put to further stress the fact that Nicki never sold out, She’s just too hood to anyway but so yall nay Sayers know, she still spits it hood style even if she’s selling pop records (case in point David Guetta's "Turn Me On" and the platinum-before-a-video-dropped-hit "Starships") Now that she proved to all yall her hood rep still stands, she cools off to this mid tempo (drake type) hood/R&B records like "Champion" which features Drake, Nas and Young Jeezy (it’s a number one to me! I just can’t stop singing it tho!), "Right By My Side" with Chris Brown (I’m not usually a fan of featuring Chris Brown because it’s almost like a trend for rappers now and it doesn’t sit well with me but on this record you can’t deny they fuse so effin well! another No1 for me), "Sex In The Lounge" featuring Weezy again and surprisingly Bobby V (Why I say surprisingly is because I almost forgot about Bobby V cause he's latest stuff does not impress me but you can’t take personal hits like "Turn The Page", "Slow Down", "Anonymous" est. from him cause those songs killed it for me then and iv even recently caught myself listening on replay to "Turn The Page". On this track, Bobby V excels effortlessly while Nicki and Weezy do their thing to make this record another standout).
The record kicks back to full gear with the next set of songs but you’d think it would be raw and hood but I think at this point Roman hands the baton to Nicki in a sense because we love Roman yeah but we love Nicki even more so the poppy side of Nicki comes to play on songs like the already successful "Starships", "Pound The Alarm", "Whip It", "Automatic" and "Beautiful Sinner". All these songs allow the Techno part of Nicki to surface. We didn’t know this aspect of her until songs like Jay Sean's "2012", Guetta’s "Where them girls At?" and the now famous “Turn Me On” but this side has finally evolved to take up quite a large part of this record and you will agree that it’s a welcomed inclusion.
I’m sure the fist pumping, jumping of those tracks wear her out cause on the final set of songs she opens up and is not strong Nicki (Roman) but vulnerable Nicki (the R&B singer) and this is seen on tracks like the effortlessly sweet "Marilyn Monroe", the top notch stinger "Young Forever", the mind bugging "Fire Burns" and finally the love laced "Gun Shot" which features Beanie Man (as soon as you pick up the track list and see this song, you would think that it’s going to be very dance hall and fast paced but she surprises us in a good way with a mid tempo duet).
She finally finishes the standard set with "Stupid Hoe" which was produced by hot DJ, Diamond Cuts (I must confess I was on the fence about this song when I first heard it but when the video came out i just could not resist how hot and relentless the track was and it fast became an "on repeat" record). All in all, this record is not just good, it will surely have bigger appeal and it will surely last a long while because the songs here are undeniable classics, not just good songs but pieces of art. Female rappers should take a cue from this Hip Hop Maven as she conquers the world one crazy persona at a time, one record at a time, one rhyme at a time.
My only beef with this record is that Missy was not a part of this process because so many songs here, especially the hood ones at the beginning and the R&B ones at the end, would have been a great fit for two of Hip Hop's Queens cause if you think about it in retrospect, Nicki picked up where Missy Left off cause they both sing and rap and they are both great musicians- PERIOD! Get the album; it’s definitely worth the buying.