Nicki Minaj - Queen
2018 was supposed to be the summer Hip Hop solidified their takeover of pop culture. Drake, Kanye, Eminem and now Nicki Minaj all releasing albums that were to set the world on fire. While they continue to set streaming records, none of these albums has been all that life changing. Queen follows suit being totally passable but not the stunner it should have been. "Majesty" with Eminem is the first glaring example, a track that feels dated as all hell and never really reaches any coherent point. It feels like more fodder for the are they or aren't they dating rumors between Em and Nicki. There are a few classic tracks like "Barbie Dreams" but the beats fail Nicki's flow terribly. She goes hard on damn near every rapper in the game calling Lil Uzi her "son" yet again and claiming Thugger has been in her dressing room borrowing dresses. There are tons of moments to really like on this album, but it also feels like a whole lot of the same from Nicki. ON her recent diss tracks, Nicki seemed to rise above and transcend the controversy keeping her tracks fresh while still eviscerating her subjects. You just feel like you are missing something cutting edge, something completely different from Nicki this time. She has her throne but doesn't feel as manic about defending it. How many years does Nicki Minaj need to be the best female rapper in the game before she starts getting credit for it? It seems like it might be forever.
These tracks are good, and have some things to say, but you really can't see these being the bangers that we keep coming back to from 2018. That might have been different if Nicki didn't pitch this record as her best yet. "Run & Hide" has this really interesting electronic beat, but becomes monotonous and boring towards it's close. Swae Lee feels like He is barely awake through the whole track. For a hip hop album over a hour of music isn't that insane, but by 40 minutes she's used all her tricks and she is left repeating herself. I can't tell you how many times she tells people to eat her pussy or how someone is her "son". Some editing would have improved this record vastly, but wouldn't boost those streaming numbers in the slightest. That's sort of the dillema today, do you make a great album that is razor sharp and tight, or just put out a bunch of shit that people will stream a bunch. To many people have found the way to manipulate the numbers and we are just now starting to see it happen. This record obviously wasn't as blatant as Drake's Scorpion but it's close. "Nip Tuck" switches things up gratefully and it is such a welcome change on the record that by this point was damn near dusty. There are things to like about this album, but it is much more of a record of a couple of good singles rather than a collection of straight up bangers.
6.9 out of 10