- Best New Artist
- Best Rap Performance - "Moment 4 Life"
- Best Rap Album
Okay. Deep Breath. Full listen link. And here we go.
"I'm The Best" is the first track. What a title to start off with. No lack of confidence, which I guess is understandable for a woman who wants this to be an album for women. Can't say I love anything about this one. The beat is really kind of weird, and I've never liked her rapping, though this seems a little more toned down than I've heard. Admittedly, it is cool to hear a female rapping. It's a little like throwing back to Missy and Lil Kim.
Given what I watched on the Grammys, I've been dreading "Roman's Revenge." But we only have to hear it once, so okay. Well, it definitely calls for fire and theatrics, so I guess that part's understandable. But goodness I really do hate that wavery weird voice. Ahhh I never thought I'd be so happy to hear Eminem's voice. Of course, it's psycho Em, but I'll take it as a weird comfort.
Apparently, if you ain't a Nicki fan.. eh whatever. Here's the video for "Did It On'em."
Second video coming. Trying to give the track a try first without visuals, though the last time was useless. This contains samples of "Always With Me, Always With You" by Joe Satrani, by the way. Now wait, it this an attempt at tenderness? Okay, huh. I'm a bit astounded, as I thought there was only one song remotely relatable on the album, but this one may be able to stand up a but. It's got a softer side to her... sort of. It's honest, and something I think we find ourselves wondering a bit.
The one song I liked before getting into this album (yes, there was one) is "Fly" featuring Rihanna. I don't totally hate the rapping in this either, and I do think it's an uplifting number with the ability to even spark inspiration. And yes, I did in fact like this track before it was featured on "Glee."
Huh. I guess we've reached the more solemn point in the album, which it saying something considering the words and even quieter backbeat scream something a little more intense, but the mood remains softer. The song in question here is "Save Me." It's sort of sweet to see a more vulnerable side to this girl.
"Moment 4 Life" is the Grammy nominated individual track, and it makes me realize that what I can't stand about her rapping it how she hits absolutely any word that ends with "ire." Okay, there's probably other things as well, but that's what's killing the start of this song. Kind fo interesting use of echo in the chorus, by which I mean unexpected. Drake is the guest featured artist for this one.
will.i.am leads up with "Check It Out," using The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star" and James Browns' "Think (About It)" samples. And we're back to the hard to digest Nicki music. I never did like his solo stuff though, so I won't fault her here. Also, if he doesn't back off that damn auto-tune button for one damn song, I'm going to question his musical integrity altogether.
Kanye, friend, you keep appearing on these albums. "Blazin" includes... oh NO. Why did you touch this song?? Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" is sampled here. And it's not well used. And the song isn't good. It's downright annoying. You know that weird place where a song is too slow to dance to in a club, but still sounds like it should be played in that atmosphere? Yup, this is the one that pulls people off the floor to refill the drink.
"Here I Am" makes for good background music while you're responding to Facebook messages. Trust me, I am now experienced in this! It's got a light steady beat, and these kind of songs are not what I expected from Nicki. I'm a little more understanding of the praise surrounding this album in hearing these kinds of songs. The tracks that have gotten the most airplay are so harsh to the ear, yet the others are very sweet.
The next is another great example with "Dear Old Nicki." As self-centered as the title may imply, it almost sounds like a cry out for help or a message to herself (or both). There's a sampling of "Red Sky" by John B and Shaz Sparks. The thing I'm actually enjoying most is the background accompaniment to the whole thing. It's slightly computerized, but not overwhelming. It's quite nice to hear actually.
Notice anything familiar about "Your Love?" There's a sample of a classic, "No More I Love You's" from Annie Lennox. Again, a really light and pretty enjoyable track musically. It's a really nice mix and the rapping isn't so much that you hate her voice one verse in. She even uses dynamics throughout, keeping it a little interesting.
"Last Chance" is making me eat my words. We're back to the roughness in her voice in the rapping, and weird word spitting. Natasha Bedingfield makes this song actually, and yes, you just read that name correctly. Her voice is awesome and powerful where it's needed. Otherwise, the song's sort of sounding like a glorified basketball pump-up song.
And now, the song I've been fearing throughout this entire album. No lie, my white-as-a-sheet best friend Amanda knows every word to this. This is also the song that turned me off from all Nicki music ever. The verses are so incredibly annoying, even if the chorus is obnoxiously catchy. I am, of course, talking about "Super Bass."
Why do every one of her songs I dislike specifically say something about haters who don't like her music. Ugh. "Blow Ya Mind" is our second-to-last song, and it's all about how awesome Nicki is. So great, apparently, that sirens are blowing while she's taking the world by storm. It's just too much for us all to handle.
I know, we're speeding through some of these. I just can't think of more to say. The final song is already upon us because of that, with "Muny." So not a good way to go out. It's all about success and phonies and a bunch of crap that says nothing on life and fails to wrap out the album in a classy or event decent way.
Added to My Playlist (I know, I'm surprised too):
- "Save Me"