With as much as Nicki Minaj has already accomplished, there are still some things she has yet to do. While it isn't inconceivable that the spirited MC will one day add music producer to her ever-growing résumé, for her latest LP, she reached out to some of the best beat makers in the business. Dr. Luke, J.R. Rotem, Hit-Boy and mega-producer RedOne all contributed to Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, giving Nicki a wide array of pop and rap sounds.
"She just feels that she wants to conquer the world," RedOne told MTV News about Minaj during a phone interview on Monday.
RedOne has no shortage of smash singles in his discography. In 2008, he gave Lady Gaga two of her biggest hits in "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" and followed up with successful singles for Enrique Iglesias ("I Like It") and Jennifer Lopez ("On the Floor"). But rather than force his patented pop sound on Minaj, the two met in the middle creatively. "The combination of her, myself and my team gave this music," he said. "It's a perfect combination for her next step and thank God it's working all over the world. She's charting everywhere."
Nicki and Red's current single, "Starships," is currently situated at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 after only six weeks on the chart. Every other single in the top five (Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," the Wanted's "Glad You Came," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" and fun.'s "We Are Young") has spent more than 10 weeks on the chart. So, Nicki reaching the #1 spot isn't inconceivable as summer rolls in.
It's no mistake that all of the RedOne-produced tracks appear one after the other on Roman Reloaded. First comes "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm," then the booming "Whip It" and the kinetic "Automatic," but RedOne says that he had no hand in the track placement.
While "Starships" is light and breezy, "Pound the Alarm" is sonically edgier. "It's got the pop element, but it's got some hard-core elements, some dance underground elements," RedOne said. "It's the perfect follow-up, to me."
In the end, the hitmaker is just proud of how it all turned out. He marvels at how Nicki was able to gather all of her musical inhibitions and unleash them in one complete body of work. "I'm happy with this step that she did, and the world is loving her," RedOne said. "She's still Nicki Minaj, she's hard-core, she's everything."
To celebrate the April 3 release of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, we will be examining the "Evolution of Nicki Minaj" throughout the week. Check MTV News every day to see how the Southside Jamaica, Queens, Barbie went from a promising mixtape standout to rap's reigning queen.