Review Summary: The Re-Up won’t convert anybody who dislikes her, but it's ultimately the edition with more bang for your buck if you’re a fan of Miss Minaj.
The title of Nicki Minaj's sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
sort of gave the impression that it could be considered an expansion of her debut Pink Friday
, and that would be completely plausible with the two albums not being too different from each other. Minaj’s EP The Re-Up
arrives only a short few months after Roman Reloaded
as a bundle edition with that album, and even though that makes the full name of said edition amount to 3 subtitles as, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up
”, it’s actually fitting that Nicki Minaj’s releases don’t have original names of their own, because nothing has changed about Minaj and her music for The Re-Up
. In a way, it’s the perfect analogy to how Minaj has kept her act limited to the style of her unstable alter-ego “Roman” since her debut, and The Re-Up
arriving so quickly with only 8 new songs makes it apparent that it was only released to help sustain the constant attention Minaj’s act receives.
Titles aside though, The Re-Up
does contain an abundance of content. While the EP itself can be purchased singularly, the box set edition acts as a reissue of Roman Reloaded
, containing that album in its entirety, as well as a DVD featuring music videos and behind the scenes footage.
As an MC, Minaj is nothing remotely remarkable in comparison to contemporary hip hop fronted by males. While her approach and delivery is refreshingly frantic, fierce, and frequently maniacal, the insanity feels aimless far too often, and only works as a front to make up for her lack of a good flow. To compare Minaj’s alter-ego “Roman” to Eminem’s controversial character with psychotic tendencies “Slim Shady”, Shady spouted manic verses of murder, sex, and drugs, but had a talented and stable flow, pace, and witty writing to back it up. The character of Roman has the personality down that solidifies Minaj’s position as the most ferocious of the few and far between female rappers since Lil Kim, but her form is very sloppy and un-oriented, and the lyrics that describe her blunt sexual topics aren’t anything so much clever as they are just downright vulgar and foul (and sometimes in idiotic poor taste).
The music that backs her isn’t exactly standout either. Minaj at least has variety, with songs ranging in genres from hip hop, to dance-pop and R&B, but this is very polished and processed music. The beats feel hallow and bland, and the production on the more poppy tracks are so sugary that they can be hard to digest. These pop tracks do see Minaj exposing a more conscious and sincere side of her personality, but even when her subject matter takes a serious tone, Minaj’s writing ability is much too thin to convey deep emotions. It’s also difficult to take Minaj seriously on these poppy songs after she chaotically blurts out nonsense such as “I am your leader, take me to your leader, I am your leader, suck a big dick.” on the previous hip hop cuts.
All in all, Minaj continues to be nothing more than a mediocre artist in all areas. Thanks to her personality and attitude, she’s without a doubt unique in the hip hop industry and in comparison to other rappers of her gender, but she still hasn’t pursued any musical avenues that are worth any merit. She can be funny, and her energy is mildly rousing, and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up
is largely successful for the amount of that type of material it provides her fans with. It’s merely decent music, but there is a substantial amount of it on this edition, and Nicki Minaj’s Barbie minions couldn’t ask for a better deal in that respect.