Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
|Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded|
|Studio album by Nicki Minaj|
|Released||April 2, 2012|
|Label||Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic|
|Producer||Alex da Kid, Alex P, Andrew "Pop" Wansel, Benny Blanco, BlackOut Movement, Carl Falk, Cirkut, David Guetta, DJ Diamond Kuts, Dreamlab, Dr. Luke, Flip, Hit-Boy, RedOne, T-Minus, Nikhil S.|
|Nicki Minaj chronology|
|Singles from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded|
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is the second studio album by Trinidadian-American recording artist Nicki Minaj, released on April 2, 2012, by Young Money, Cash Money, and Universal Republic. Looking to transition from her "too revealing, too emotional" debut album Pink Friday (2010), Minaj wanted to make a follow-up record about "just having fun". Stylistically, the album is divided by a first half of hip hop tracks and a second half of dance-pop songs. As executive producer, Minaj enlisted a variety of collaborators, including Hit-Boy, Dr. Luke, Ester Dean, and RedOne.
Upon its release, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who complimented its hip hop material but felt the dance songs were generic. The album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with 253,000 copies in first-week sales, becoming her second number one album on the chart. It was later certified platinum for shipments of one million copies by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Internationally, the album peaked at number one in Canada, Scotland, and the United Kingdom and within the top five in Australia and New Zealand.
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was promoted with four singles, including the international hits "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm", and a radio single, "Va Va Voom". Minaj supported the album with the Pink Friday Tour and the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour. On November 19, 2012, the album was reissued as an expanded version subtitled The Re-Up.
Background and development 
Following the success of Minaj's debut album, Pink Friday, Cash Money co-CEO, Brian "Birdman" Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012. In November 2011, Minaj announced on Twitter that the album would be released on February 14, 2012, though it was later delayed to April 3, 2012. The album focuses on Roman Zolanski, one of Minaj's alter egos that was first featured on Pink Friday. The standard artwork was released on March 1, 2012 and the deluxe artwork was revealed on March 8, 2012, both through Twitter. Minaj spoke on the concept behind the albums, saying: "Sometimes I felt the first album was a little too revealing, too emotional at times, and the other thing about your first album is that you’ve had all these emotions pent up inside to release and that’s what you do on your debut. On the second album I was more concerned about just having fun."
When Minaj was asked on Twitter to describe the album in one word, she tweeted "freedom". In an interview following the premiere, Minaj told Seacrest, "I've never had this much fun recording music in my life. My first album I was very guarded. I felt like I was making music to please everyone else. I had to be politically correct, but this album I am just creating music, and it there's such a big difference. Literally in the studio we were cracking up laughing, having fun, and enjoying ourselves. The music itself you're going to get every side that I've ever shown and then a little bit extra. I've tried to make it very, very balanced, because I don't ever want to be boxed in, and that's always what drives me. So I made a very diverse album." She added that with her first album, she "was a too open Nicki Minaj. It felt more to me like a diary, the songs were more introspective and stuff like that...with this particular album I felt that it was time to give people a moment to enjoy the lyrics, and enjoy the beats, and enjoy the voices. When I was going to do my first album people would say, 'What is she going to talk about? Is she just going to talk about sex?' So I made it my business to make an album that did not talk about sex at all. I made it my business to make an album that wasn't a vulgar album, because [on] my mix tapes I was very, very...outlandish on my mix tapes. With this album I'm going back to not necessarily to that sound, but that feeling. The feeling of 'I don't care what you think!' That's what it is."
As executive producer, Minaj enlisted several producers, including Alex da Kid, Alex P, Andrew "Pop" Wansel, Benny Blanco, Blackout, Carl Falk, Cirkut, David Guetta, DJ Diamond Kuts, Dreamlab, Dr. Luke, Flip, Hitboy, Jimmy Joker, J.R. Rotem, Kane Beatz, Kenoe, KoOol Kojak, M.E. Productions, Oak, Pink Friday Productions, Rami Yacoub, RedOne, Rico Beats, Ryan & Smitty, Nikhil S., T-Minus Minaj also worked with several artists including Cam’ron, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Nas, Drake, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, Bobby V, and Beenie Man.
Music and lyrics 
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Stylistically, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is divided by the first half's hip hop tracks and the second half's dance-pop songs. Minaj raps in her unhinged alter ego "Roman Zolanski" over the former tracks' hard-edged beats and mostly sings on the latter half; she returns to rapping on the album's final track "Stupid Hoe". Music journalist Jody Rosen delineates the album's music as comprising "'Side One' for the hip-hop headz, 'Side Two' for teenyboppers." Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole comments that the album is "partitioned almost exactly between a rap half and a pop half". Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal denotes the second half as tracks following "Roman Reloaded" and writes that they "range from brittle Euro-trance to milquetoast R&B to washed-out balladry." Music critic Kitty Empire cites the song "Pound the Alarm" as a "compromise" between the album's two stylistic halves.
In April 2012, Minaj held album signings in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London. That month, she traveled to the UK for a week of promotion. HMV held a competition for fans, where 500 winners would get the chance to meet Minaj on April 19, 2012, in one of their stores in Bayswater, London, where she would sign their albums. Minaj also appeared on The Graham Norton Show, which was aired on April 20, 2012. On the same day, she visited BBC Radio 1 for an interview with Nick Grimshaw.
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was promoted with four singles—"Starships", "Right by My Side", "Beez in the Trap", and "Pound the Alarm". The radio single "Va Va Voom" was sent to BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2012. All songs charted on the Billboard Hot 100, including "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm", which reached number 5 and number 15 on the chart, respectively. "Starships" also reached number four in both Canada and Japan, while "Pound the Alarm" reached number eight in Canada.
Live performances 
Minaj performed "Roman Holiday" at the 54th Grammy Awards on February 12, 2012, becoming the first song performed at the awards by a solo female rapper. The controversial performance borrowed elements of the classic horror film, The Exorcist. Minaj said in an interview with Rap-Up, “I had this vision for [alter-ego, Roman Zolanski] to be sort of exorcised—or actually he never gets exorcised—but people around him tell him he’s not good enough because he’s not normal, he’s not blending in with the average Joe. And so his mother is scared and the people around him are afraid because they’ve never seen anything like him. He wanted to show that not only is he amazing and he’s sure of himself and confident, but he’s never gonna change, he’s never gonna be exorcised. Even when they throw the holy water on him, he still rises above.” MTV said the performance "was the most elaborate of the night's Grammy performances and (had) everyone talking."
On February 26, 2012, Minaj performed "Starships" live for the first time along with "Moment 4 Life", "Turn Me On" and "Super Bass" at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. She also performed "Starships" on the eleventh season of American Idol on March 29, 2012. On April 4, 2012, Minaj performed a 40-minute mini-concert for BET's 106 & Park. Minaj performed "Starships", "Right by My Side", and "Super Bass" in Times Square, hosted by Nokia, on April 7, 2012.
To further promote Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Minaj embarked on her first tour, the Pink Friday Tour, in May 2012. The tour comprised 45 show dates, 22 in North America, 4 in Asia, 17 in Europe and 3 in Australia. While promoting the album in the UK, Minaj revealed tour dates for major cities in England. The singer officially announced the tour on May 1, 2012, featuring a stage resembling Barbie's Dreamhouse. Minaj stated that she will play radio and outdoor festivals in conduction with arenas and theaters. She described the tour as being "intimate yet big". Laurieann Gibson served as creative director and choreographer for the tour.
Critical reception 
|Los Angeles Times|||
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60, based on 30 reviews. Although he complimented its first-half as "an amusement park for production lovers", Allmusic editor David Jeffries criticized the album's "iffy pop" and called it "a frustrating mix of significant and skippable." Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times commended its "minimal, bouncy hip-hop tracks" for highlighting Minaj's "charm and achievement", but wrote that the "disjointed, artistically confused" album "drives off a cliff" with "dance pop songs as simple as they are generic". Emily Mackay of NME found its disparate music "just baffling" and "zany for the sake of it". Kitty Empire, writing in The Observer, interpreted Minaj's pop songs as "an aggressive bid for Gaga's territory." David Amidon of PopMatters accused Minaj of "doubling down on her cartoonish elements" and criticized its first half as "very poorly thought out rap music masquerading as pop". John Calvert of The Quietus described the album as "pop postmodernity in an advanced state of hollow, banal meaningless[ness]" and felt that the pop songs have "absolutely nothing to do with Minaj's art". Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole panned it as a "mediocre rap album" and felt that "Minaj conveys no personality" when she does not rap.
In a positive review, Rolling Stone writer Jody Rosen called it a "filler-free mega-pop album" and commented that "the energy never flags". Jessica Hopper of Spin praised Minaj's "rap offerings" as "nearly flawless" and wrote of the album's portion of pop tracks, "Her artistic potency dissolves, and she's just another well-finessed quirky diva". Tom Ewing of The Guardian said that it "doesn't matter" is inconsistent and "makes no attempt to marry its rap and pop impulses ... at their best the styles are wedded anyway by a particular frenzy, a sense that Minaj comes with no off switch or lower gear." MSN Music's Robert Christgau said that Minaj "raps exceptionally well, sings quite well, rhymes inconsistently but sometimes superbly", and that the album's deluxe edition starts and ends "strong", with a "fun" middle that veers between "mawkish and loud". Christgau recommended it to listeners who "enjoy contemporary pop whose market-tested blare offends both rockist philistines and IDM aesthetes".
Commercial performance 
For the week ending April 10, 2012, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 253,000 copies in its first week. This marked Minaj's second number-one album in that country following her last studio album Pink Friday, which peaked at number one in February 2011. On June 22, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of at least one million copies in the US. The album sold 885,000 copies in 2012 in the US, making it best selling rap album of 2012 in that country.
The album debuted in at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the UK R&B Albums Chart, with first week sales of 47,000 copies. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is the first album by female rap artist to chart at number one in the United Kingdom. The album sold 242,000 copies in the UK throughout 2012, making it the thirty-seventh best selling album of the year. The album also debuted at number 1 on the Scottish Albums Chart. On the Australian Albums Chart, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded debuted at number 5 and on the Australian Urban Albums Chart it debuted at number 2. In Mexico, the album reached the top 40 in its first week of release.
Track listing 
|1.||"Roman Holiday"||Onika Maraj, Winston Thomas, L. Nacht, S. Samuels||Blackout, Pink Friday Productions||4:05|
|2.||"Come on a Cone"||Maraj, Chauncey Hollis, Samuels||Hit-Boy||3:05|
|3.||"I Am Your Leader" (featuring Cam'ron and Rick Ross)||Maraj, Hollis, William Roberts II, Cameron Giles, Samuels||Hit-Boy||3:33|
|4.||"Beez in the Trap" (featuring 2 Chainz)||Maraj, M. Jordan, Tauheed Epps, Samuels||Kenoe||4:28|
|5.||"HOV Lane"||Maraj, Ryan Marrone, Samuels, Garrick Smith,||Ryan & Smitty, Pink Friday Productions||3:13|
|6.||"Roman Reloaded" (featuring Lil Wayne)||Maraj, Dwayne Carter, Jr., Ricardo LaMarre, Samuels||Rico Beats, Pink Friday Productions||3:16|
|7.||"Champion" (featuring Nas, Drake and Young Jeezy)||Maraj, Tyler Williams, Nikhil Seetharam, Samuels, Aubrey Graham, Jay Jenkins, Nasir Jones,||T-Minus, Seetharam*||4:56|
|8.||"Right by My Side" (featuring Chris Brown)||Maraj, Andrew Wansel, Warren Felder, Ester Dean, J. Roberts, R. Colson, Samuels||@PopWansel, @Oakwud, @Flippa123*, @JProof*||4:25|
|9.||"Sex in the Lounge" (featuring Lil Wayne and Bobby V)||Maraj, Ernest Wilson, Samuels, Matthew Hall, Carter, Ness Wilson,||M.E. Productions, Pink Friday Productions||3:27|
|10.||"Starships"||Maraj, Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Wayne Hector, Samuels||RedOne, Rami, Falk||3:30|
|11.||"Pound the Alarm"||Maraj, Khayat, Falk, Yacoub, Samuels, Bilal Hajji, Achraf Jannusi,||RedOne, Falk, Rami||3:25|
|12.||"Whip It"||Maraj, Khayat, Alex Papaconstantinou, Björn Djupström, Hajji, Hector, Samuels||RedOne, Alex P||3:15|
|13.||"Automatic"||Maraj, Khayat, Samuels, Jimmy Thornfeldt, Geraldo Sandell||RedOne, Jimmy Joker||3:18|
|14.||"Beautiful Sinner"||Maraj, Alexander Grant, Ester Dean||Alex da Kid, Nicholas Cooper (vocals)||3:47|
|15.||"Marilyn Monroe"||Maraj, Daniel James, Samuels, Leah Haywood, Ross Golan, Jonathan Rotem||J. R. Rotem, Dreamlab*, Cooper (vocals)||3:16|
|16.||"Young Forever"||Maraj, Lukasz Gottwald, Kelly Sheehan,Samuels, Henry Walter||Dr. Luke, Cirkut||3:06|
|17.||"Fire Burns"||Maraj, Wansel, Samuels, Felder||@PopWansel, @Oakwud||3:00|
|18.||"Gun Shot" (featuring Beenie Man)||Maraj, D. Johnson, M. Davis, Samuels, C. Grossett||KANE||4:39|
|19.||"Stupid Hoe"||Maraj, Tina Dunham, Samuels||DJ Diamond Kuts, Pink Friday Productions||3:16|
|Deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|20.||"Turn Me On" (David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj)||Guetta, Tuinfort, Black Raw (add.)||3:19|
|21.||"Va Va Voom"||Dr. Luke, Ko0ol Kojak, Cirkut||3:03|
|22.||"Masquerade"||Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Cirkut||3:48|
|iTunes bonus track|
|23.||"Press Conference" (featuring Charlemagne and Safaree "SB" Samuels)||Maraj, Samuels, Lenard McKelvey||Lex Luger, T-Minus, Boi-1da, Hit-Boy, The Runners, Jim Jonsin||21:03|
Credits for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded:
Weekly charts 
Year-end charts 
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums||3|
|US Billboard 200||26|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||242,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Release history 
|Germany||April 2, 2012||CD, digital download||Universal Music, Cash Money|
|United Kingdom||Universal Island, Cash Money|
|France||Universal Music, Cash Money|
|United States||April 3, 2012||Universal Music, Young Money, Cash Money|
|Japan||April 11, 2012||Universal Music Japan, Cash Money|
|Brazil||April 23, 2012||Universal Music, Cash Money|
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