Nicki Minaj returns to the music scene four years after her last album with the August 10 release of Queen. Frankly, this album was better than I expected. Nicki had gone on a media run that made her out to be a whiny brat who was pointing fingers at everyone but herself as to why she’d been somewhat forgotten. I was for sure that she wouldn’t deliver a decent album, especially since the release of her singles “Rich Sex” feat. Lil Wayne, “Chun-Li” and “Bed” received mixed reviews.
Now, I could be nitpicking, but, there’s no solid theme for this Nicki album. On the cover for Queen, Nicki looks like an African princess. Songs, like Chun-Li, in which she performed at many award shows had a Chinese vibe.
The album itself can be played from front to back. I don’t agree with the placement of the first song “Ganja Burns” because it just doesn’t feel like a track that would introduce an album. But everything else flows well. She has songs that will make you dance, songs you want to just sing along to and of course a couple tracks you can play if you’re going through relationship issues.
Her song “Barbie Dreams”, where she raps over a Biggie sample, was pumped up as a diss track, but it was definitely overhyped. I was entertained. I chuckled. But it was the furtherest thing from a diss track. My favs are “Run & Hide” and “Good Form”. And if you couldn’t get enough of the original release, on Tuesday (Aug. 14), Nicki added the track featuring Tekashi69 called “FEFE”. I’ve only heard it a few times but I think it’s safe to say it was an unnecessary addition.
Nicki Minaj and Future will be doing their NICKIHNDRXX tour starting late September. Stream her album to kick off the show at home or wherever you like to listen to music.
(Cover: The Internet’s album Hive Mind)
The Internet released Hive Mind on July 20. With most of the group members coming off of a solo run you’d think that they wouldn’t have anything left to offer but that is the furthest thing from the truth. I enjoyed the group’s latest release and it seems that the solo projects only strengthened their sound.
They draw you in with up-tempo instrumentals and Syd’s melodic voice for an overall experience of what I can only describe as “grown up” music. If you aren’t familiar with the group I would recommend, not only listening to this project but also to their 2014 album Ego Death. You won’t be disappointed.
(Cover: Silkk the Shocker’s album It Will Make Sense Later)
43-year-old New Orleans rapper Silkk the Shocker released his album It Will Make Sense Later on July 17. This album comes 13 years after his last release. It’s hard to say how this album will be received. It’s a good chance that it would be a nostalgic 1 hour and 1 minute for listeners who are familiar with Silkk’s earlier work. The younger generation may give it a chance off the strength of it being a new release and because there are a few tracks that fits the mold of today’s music.
There are features from Master P, Lil Romeo and more. Overall, I will say it’s not a bad album but I don’t believe it’s one that would be on repeat. My two favorite songs from the album is “Finest Girl” and “Outta Here” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again. I would suggest giving the project a listen.
(Cover: Shai’s album Musically Yours)
The group Shai is probably best known for their 1992 released single “If I Ever Fall in Love Again” from the album of the same title (I know it’s still one of my favorite songs to date). On June 29 the group (with two new members in place of two originals) released Musically Yours.
I am going to go out on the limb by saying that maybe my expectations was too high for this project but I was very disappointed and bored. Listen to this album at your own risk. The group just don’t sound as good as before. And maybe it’s just old age or the lack of having all of the original members but it just wasn’t doing it for me. There were some songs that could have been good but then they started trying to do too much. They weren’t harmonizing well and the execution just came off as noise.