13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Everything Nicki Minaj touches turns if not into gold then at least into something much more interesting. After making her name as a dynamite special ingredient to everyone else’s records, she finally lands her own debut album, 2010’s Pink Friday. Her guests, from Rihanna to will.i.am, may be there to bump up her profile, but they are no match for Minaj’s rapid-fire attack. Only Eminem on the truly nasty “Roman’s Revenge” can keep pace with her, as she tries out new personas — Roman Zolanski and his mom, Martha — with gleeful ease. Minaj tackles hip-hop and princess pop à la Gwen Stefani (“Right Thru Me”). She lets Rihanna deliver the radio-friendly sweet hook of “Fly” while she talks herself in blazing circles. “Moment 4 Life” is Minaj and Drake mixing it with newfound intensity. Kanye performs up to her level on the manic panic of “Blazin’.” “Check It Out” with will.i.am rides the sample of the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” If anyone represents 2010, it is Darling Nicki.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Everything Nicki Minaj touches turns if not into gold then at least into something much more interesting. After making her name as a dynamite special ingredient to everyone else’s records, she finally lands her own debut album, 2010’s Pink Friday. Her guests, from Rihanna to will.i.am, may be there to bump up her profile, but they are no match for Minaj’s rapid-fire attack. Only Eminem on the truly nasty “Roman’s Revenge” can keep pace with her, as she tries out new personas — Roman Zolanski and his mom, Martha — with gleeful ease. Minaj tackles hip-hop and princess pop à la Gwen Stefani (“Right Thru Me”). She lets Rihanna deliver the radio-friendly sweet hook of “Fly” while she talks herself in blazing circles. “Moment 4 Life” is Minaj and Drake mixing it with newfound intensity. Kanye performs up to her level on the manic panic of “Blazin’.” “Check It Out” with will.i.am rides the sample of the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” If anyone represents 2010, it is Darling Nicki.

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