Album: Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday (Island)

There's nothing on Pink Friday with quite the incendiary impact of her cameo on Kanye West's "Monster", but there's enough to confirm the buzz about Nicki Minaj being the future of female hip-hop.

Brash and brusque, her raps are strapped to brittle electro snarebeats, buzzy synths and elegant pianos or, on "Moment 4 Life", the dainty twinkle of music-box. But too many tracks rely on standard rap braggadocio, and only single "Right Thru Me" makes adequate use of her R&B vocal skills. Minaj operates best at extremes – hankering for her former self on "Dear Old Nicki", or the rude asperity of "Roman's Revenge", featuring a typically virulent rap from Eminem involving a sexual assault fantasy: it has the thousand-volt charge that the rest of the album needs.

DOWNLOAD THIS Roman's Revenge; Dear Old Nicki; Right Thru Me

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