Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, the sophomore effort from one of MTV’s Hottest MCs, Nicki Minaj, dropped Tuesday (April 3), leaving critics and fans divided. Critics have almost unanimously panned it , but all maintain that Minaj is an enormous talent whose album shifted focus away from her clear strength, rapping, to make way for more generic pop and dance tunes.
The Barbz and Kenz make up one of the most fiercely loyal fanbases around, so Minaj isn’t losing love from them. Still, many are torn about the album. Some have proclaimed their love for the album, calling it “beyond great” and “fabulous.” @Craggleprice tweeted, “The album is amazing!! it’s got Rap, Pop, Dance and Ballads! best album! Drake and Lil Wayne Collabs r amazing! it all is!” Standout tracks among fans seem to be “Beautiful Sinner,” “Va Va Voom,” “Come on a Cone” and “Beez in the Trap.”
Others stand by Minaj as an artist but are not into her latest work. @Rudy_Nelson wrote, “It’s horrible! and I’m a fan!” Minaj is also being compared to her pop contemporaries: As @Crucial416 commented, “It’s a great Rihanna album. Terrible nicki album.”
While critics also expressed disappointment that Minaj split the album down the middle with rap on one side and dance/pop on the other, one MTV.com reader came to her defense. Zachary wrote, “Critics need to stop riding her and give up on trying to ‘box [Nicki] in’ (as she said in ‘Fly’) as JUST a female rapper. She’s expanded into being so much more. Nearly every track on her debut featured her singing and also featured heavy synth productions. ‘Blazin’ anyone? ‘Last Chance’? ‘Dear Old Nicki’? ‘Save Me’? SHE’S BEEN SINGING SINCE THE BEGINNING!!! Her bubblegum Barbie side is what made her famous on ‘Super Bass,’ which combined both strong rap and vocals; why are they telling lies?”
Some fans seem to want Minaj to go back even further than her smash hit “Pink Friday.” @SistahSar_casm tweeted, “Not feeling it either smh. … I miss mixtape Nicki.”
While @GagaIsMyJudas suggested critics give it some time — writing, “It’s awesome, if they listened to it more they’d love it. I didn’t like it at first but it grew on me” — it seems most of Minaj’s fans don’t heed them. @MsSmartBarbie tweeted, “Frankly I could care less what they think. This was for the fans not for the critics.”