Saturday, November 24, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW - The Re-Up - Nicki Minaj



Pink Friday has been a defining era in music history for Nicki Minaj and for mainstream hip hop music. While she has her haters like Lil’Kim, there are more supporters that are happy to herald in a new era of female rap, and Minaj has the goods to spearhead this new wave of female rap artists in.
The Re-Up is the third album in the Pink Friday series and seems to find the balance between the hardcore rap of Pink Friday and the mainstream dubstep of Roman Reloaded.

 The first two albums have been both critical and commercial successes, and Re-Up has entered into that territory again.
Teaming up with Ciara, Cassie and Lil Wayne, Minaj has once again secured the best of and obscure artists to appear on her album instead of the other way around. 

This is the third and final album in the Pink Friday series and with a total of 8 tracks, it is the perfect closure for the album series. Pink Friday was drenched in traditional hip-hop/rap tracks, then Roman Re-Loaded was mainly dubstep mainstream with a streak of Minaj all through it, and Re-Up tends to blend the first two together and strike that balance between mainstream and hip-hop.
Up In Flames is the perfect introduction to this album, a gospel choir backed theme song, has addictive urban grooves infused with Minaj’s rap style with some great choir vocals. It is the type of song that no-one has done before and shows why Minaj belongs at the forefront of the industry.
Nicki wowed audiences at the AMA’s with the hip-hop ballad Freedom, and the album version is just as inspiring. 

The standout track for this album lies in “I’m Legit” featuring the extremely under-rated Ciara, the blend of both callout and rap are an excellent combination and should hopefully see the two working together in the future. 

Another obscure pop artist Cassie guests on “The Boys” the track that took a while to grow but now I am addicted. The oddest track is titled "I Endorse These Strippers" and once you get past the odd lyrics the song surprisingly works, as does the album as a whole.

 The mix of mainstream and traditional tracks on this make a great farewell to Pink Friday and I would suggest making a playlist with all 3 Pink Friday albums in it, pressing shuffle and listening to some of the greatest urban music in recent days. 

The Re-Up is available both digitally and in stores now.

Review by Alaisdair Dewar

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