The once lyrically adept Nicki Minaj seemed a breath of fresh air in the world of stagnant Hip-Hop. By the late noughties (2000’s) Hip-Hop as a genre was overfilled with dumbed-down lyrics. It needed new blood in order to inject some life into this decaying art-form.
With the likes of Lil Kim growing tired and becoming plastic both lyrically and physically, Nicki seemed like the embodiment of the evolved attractive, yet skilled, female rapper. From her numerous mixtapes and guest spots to her appearance on Gyptian’s summer anthem “Hold Yuh”, fans held their breath and waited for what could and should have been a spectacular full length album.
Nicki’s first single “Massive Attack” produced by Alex Da Kid seemed an odd and misjudged start; it had a contemporary style, a modern video, it was produced by an up-and-coming British producer, but it was never officially released as a single and for some reason was not marketed by the label. Instead a single “Your Love” was released and to every rap fan’s bemusement; it was an Auto-Tuned commercialized pop track.
Then “Pink Friday” dropped. Nicki’s first album seemed a curious mish-mash of genres. The single “Massive Attack” didn’t even feature. Instead, Pink Friday was awash with multiple featured artists from the tired and old Eminem and Will.i.am, to the unfathomable Natasha Beddingfield. Apart from the track “Did It On Em”, Pink Friday was a diluted mess. The whole product seemed manufactured in order to fit into an ever-growing fashion and celebrity obsessed, pop-culture market. It was not the album Nicki’s original fans expected. But like every other contemporary watered-down album, it sold well and climbed up the billboard like an ass-kisser up a trouser leg.
A Deluxe version of the album then appeared, filled with even more Hip-Pop drivel. “Super Bass” was a single which did well in the charts. It gathered a slew of young Pop fans, but lacked any rap skills. Slowly and slowly we heard Nicki do what everybody else in the Music Biz was doing; dumbing down her lyrics, slowing down her delivery, and pretending to be a Pop singer.
This became the most evident when she teamed up with the pop-music-by-numbers producer RedOne and the French bearded weasel David Guetta to create some of the most nauseating bubblegum music in Hip-Pop history. The album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” was an even more of a whorish album than the first. Singles like “Starships” confirmed Nicki’s new penchant for singing, and like her tour she had finally sold-out.
Miss Minaj these days is seen decked from head to toe in day-glo fakery and smothered in Lady Gaga’s reject costumes. Nicki is now the epitome of a sell-out; doing a verse here or there with teen pop-twats like Justin Beiber. Instead of sounding like a skilled MC, she sounds more akin to a faux Katy Perry, screeching and whining over commercialised Muzak in order to make “Young Money”. The more styles and genres she adopts, the more monikers she gathers.
Nicki, Barbie, Roman, who-ever-the-fuck she is; she isn’t a rapper any more.