Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

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"Roman Reloaded" redirects here. For the song, see Roman Reloaded (song).
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Studio album by Nicki Minaj
Released April 2, 2012 (2012-04-02)
Genre
Length 68:59
Label
Producer
Nicki Minaj chronology
  • Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  • (2012)
Singles from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  1. "Starships"
    Released: February 14, 2012 (2012-02-14)
  2. "Right by My Side"
    Released: March 27, 2012 (2012-03-27)
  3. "Beez in the Trap"
    Released: May 29, 2012 (2012-05-29)
  4. "Pound the Alarm"
    Released: June 12, 2012 (2012-06-12)
  5. "Va Va Voom"
    Released: September 12, 2012 (2012-09-12)

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is the second studio album by American recording artist Nicki Minaj. It was released on April 2, 2012, by Young Money, Cash Money, and Universal Republic. Looking to transition from her debut studio 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 its executive producer, Minaj enlisted collaborators including Dr. Luke, Ester Dean, Hit-Boy and RedOne.

Upon its release, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who were ambivalent towards its production. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 selling 253,000 copies in its first week. In doing so, it became Minaj's second number-one album in the country, and was additionally her first to debut in the peak position. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for exceeding shipments of one million units. Internationally, the album peaked at number one in Canada and the United Kingdom, and reached the top five in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

The album was promoted with five singles. Its lead single "Starships" peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100, and is her most certified single to date. Follow-up singles "Right by My Side" and "Beez in the Trap" experienced moderate success on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs component chart. "Pound the Alarm" and "Va Va Voom" peaked at numbers fifteen and twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. The album was additionally promoted through the Pink Friday Tour and the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, which visited North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania throughout May and December 2012.

On November 19, 2012, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was reissued as an expanded version subtitled The Re-Up. It contained an additional disc with seven newly recorded tracks and an exclusive behind-the-scenes DVD to supplement the standard version of the original album. Its singles "The Boys", "Freedom", and "High School" experienced moderate success on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hip Songs component chart.

Background and development[edit]

"April 3 is gonna be a doozy. It's gonna be crazy, it's gonna be important for hip-hop and pop culture. It's gonna be very big."

Minaj describing the impact she expected the then-forthcoming album to have on the music industry.[1]

Following the success of Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday (2010), Cash Money co-CEO, Brian "Birdman" Williams announced to Billboard that Minaj was aiming for a first quarter release in 2012.[2] 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.[3][4] 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."[5]

When Minaj was asked on Twitter to describe the album in one word, she tweeted "freedom".[6] 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."[7]

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.[8]

Composition[edit]

A 21 second sample of the song's chorus.[9]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Stylistically, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is divided by the first half's hip hop tracks and the second half's dance-pop songs.[10] Minaj raps in her unhinged alter ego "Roman Zolanski" over the former tracks' hard-edged beats and mostly sings on the latter half;[11] she returns to rapping on the album's final track "Stupid Hoe".[12] Music journalist Jody Rosen delineates the album's music as comprising "'Side One' for the hip-hop headz, 'Side Two' for teenyboppers."[13] Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole comments that the album is "partitioned almost exactly between a rap half and a pop half".[14] 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."[15] Music critic Kitty Empire cites the song "Pound the Alarm" as a "compromise" between the album's two stylistic halves.[16]

Singles[edit]

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was promoted with five singles. "Starships" was released as the lead single from the album on February 14, 2012.[17] The song was an international hit, peaking inside the top five in over fifteen countries. In the United States, the song charted at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also Minaj's most certified single to date and is one of the best selling singles of all time.

"Right by My Side" was sent to US rhythmic radio and US urban radio on March 27, 2012,[18] as the album's second single. The song, which features additional vocals from Chris Brown, has since peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Beez in the Trap", which features 2 Chainz, was sent to US rhythmic radio on May 29, 2012,[19] as the third single from the album. The song peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Pound the Alarm" was released as the fourth single from the album.[20] It was sent to US Top 40/Mainstream radio on July 17, 2012.[21] The song peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as in the top ten in other countries including Australia, Canada and the UK.

"Va Va Voom" was released as the fifth and final single from the album. It was sent to BBC Radio 1 in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2012,[22] and to US Top 40/Mainstream radio on October 23, 2012.[23] The song peaked at number 22 on Billboard Hot 100 and in the top 20 in Canada and the UK.

Promotion[edit]

Minaj performed "Roman Holiday" at the 54th Grammy Awards on February 12, 2012, making Minaj the first solo female rapper to perform at the award show.[24] 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."[25]

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. In April 2012, Minaj held album signings in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.[26] That month, she traveled to the UK for a week of promotion. On April 4, 2012, she performed a 40-minute mini-concert for BET's 106 & Park.[27] She performed "Starships", "Right by My Side", and "Super Bass" in Times Square, hosted by Nokia, on April 7, 2012.[28] On April 19, 2012, HMV held a competition for fans, where 500 winners would get the chance to meet Minaj in one of their stores in Bayswater, London, where she would sign their albums.[29] Minaj also made an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, which was aired on April 20, 2012,[30] and on that same day, she visited BBC Radio 1 for an interview with Nick Grimshaw.

Tours[edit]

Pink Friday Tour
Tour by Nicki Minaj
Associated album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Start date May 16, 2012
End date August 14, 2012
Shows 41
Nicki Minaj concert chronology
Pink Friday Promo Tour
(2010)
Pink Friday Tour
(2012)
Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour
(2012)

To further promote Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Minaj embarked on her first concert tour, entitled the Pink Friday Tour.[31] The tour comprised 41 show dates, including, 19 in North America, 15 in Europe, 4 in Asia, and 3 in Oceania. The tour began in May 2012 with shows in Australia and Asia. The tour then continued on to Europe and North America in June, July, and August of 2012. The tour came to a close on August 14, 2012 in New York City at the Roseland Ballroom. The final show was a part of a free Pepsi promotional concert.

The tour was officially announced by Minaj on May 1, 2012, featuring a stage resembling Barbie's Dreamhouse.[32] Minaj stated that she will play radio and outdoor festivals in conduction with arenas and theaters.[33] She described the tour as being "intimate yet big". Laurieann Gibson served as creative director and choreographer for the tour.[34]

Minaj also embarked on the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, which visited arenas throughout October and December 2012,[35] to further promote the album and its reissue The Re-Up.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[36]
Robert Christgau A–[37]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[38]
The Independent 3/5 stars[39]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[10]
NME 5/10[40]
The Observer 3/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[13]
Slant Magazine 1.5/5 stars[14]
Spin 8/10[41]

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded received generally mixed reviews from music critics.[42] 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.[43] 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."[36] 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".[10] Emily Mackay of NME found its disparate music "just baffling" and "zany for the sake of it".[40] Kitty Empire, writing in The Observer, interpreted Minaj's pop songs as "an aggressive bid for [Lady] Gaga's territory."[16] 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".[12] 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".[44] Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole panned it as a "mediocre rap album" and felt that "Minaj conveys no personality" when she does not rap.[14]

In a positive review, Rolling Stone writer Jody Rosen called it a "filler-free mega-pop album" and commented that "the energy never flags".[13] 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".[41] 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."[38] 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".[37]

Commercial performance[edit]

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 253,000 copies in its first week, for the week ending April 10, 2012.[45] This marked Minaj's second number-one album in that country following her last studio album, Pink Friday (2010), which peaked at number one in February 2011. On June 22, 2012, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies in the US.[46] The album sold 785,000 copies throughout 2012 in the US.[47] Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was the best selling rap album of 2012 in the US,[48] and overall the album was the third highest-selling R&B/Hip-Hop album of 2012 in the US, behind Drake and Rihanna.[49] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was the 25th best-selling album globally of 2012, with sales of 1.4 million copies worldwide, during that year.[50] As of May 2014, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded has sold 914,000 copies in the US.[51]

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and the UK R&B Albums Chart, with first week sales of 47,000 copies.[52][53] In doing so, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded became the first album by a female rap artist to chart at number one in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the album sold 242,000 copies in the UK throughout 2012, making it the thirty-seventh best selling album of that year.[54] Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart,[55] and debuted at number five on the Australian Albums Chart.[56] In Mexico, the album reached the top 40 in its first week of release.[57]

Track listing[edit]

  • Credits adapted from the liner notes of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.[58]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Roman Holiday"  
4:05
2. "Come on a Cone"   Hit-Boy 3:05
3. "I Am Your Leader" (featuring Cam'ron and Rick Ross)
  • Maraj
  • Hollis
  • William Roberts
  • Cameron Giles
Hit-Boy 3:33
4. "Beez in the Trap" (featuring 2 Chainz)
  • Maraj
  • M. Jordan
  • Tauheed Epps
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)
  • 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
4:56
8. "Right by My Side" (featuring Chris Brown)
  • Maraj
  • Andrew Wansel
  • Warren Felder
  • Ester Dean
  • J. Roberts
  • J. Thomas
  • R. Colson
  • Samuels
  • @PopWansel
  • @Oakwud
  • @Flippa123*
  • @JProof*
4:25
9. "Sex in the Lounge" (featuring Lil Wayne and Bobby V)
  • M.E. Productions
  • Pink Friday Productions
3:27
10. "Starships"  
3:30
11. "Pound the Alarm"  
  • Maraj
  • Khayat
  • Falk
  • Yacoub
  • Samuels
  • Bilal Hajji
  • Achraf Jannusi
3:25
12. "Whip It"  
3:15
13. "Automatic"  
  • Maraj
  • Khayat
  • Samuels
  • Jimmy Thornfeldt
  • Geraldo Sandell
  • RedOne
  • Jimmy Joker
3:18
14. "Beautiful Sinner"  
3:47
15. "Marilyn Monroe"  
3:16
16. "Young Forever"   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
Total length:
68:59

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.[58]

  • Nicki Minaj – executive producer
  • Martin Sandberg – vocals
  • Carl Falk – guitar, producer, vocals, mixing, instrumentation
  • Wayne Hector – vocals
  • Jeanette Olsson – vocals (Background)
  • Ariel Chobaz – engineer, vocal editing, vocal producer, mixing
  • RedOne – vocals (background), producer, instrumentation, vocal editing
  • Marissa Bregman – vocals
  • Rachael Findlen – vocals
  • Patrizia Valentina – vocals
  • Eve Boase – vocals
  • Kalenna Harper – vocals
  • Kelly Sheehan – vocals
  • Teddy Sky – vocals (Background)
  • Rutger "Ruffi" Kroese – vocal mixing
  • Bilal "The Chef" Hajji – vocals (background)
  • AJ Junior – vocals (background)
  • Mohombi – vocals
  • Joshua Berkman – A&R coordinator
  • Dwayne "Tha President" Carter – executive producer
  • Finis "KY" – white engineer
  • Koool – Kojak programming, producer, instrumentation
  • Rami – producer, mixing, instrumentation, vocal editing
  • Noah Shebib – engineer
  • Alex Da Kid – producer
  • Gelly Kusuma – engineer
  • Alex P – producer, engineer, vocal editing, instrumentation
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner – mastering
  • Donald "Tixie" Dixon – engineer
  • Stuart White – engineer
  • T-Minus – producer
  • Ronald "Slim Tha Don" Williams – executive producer
  • Donnie Meadows – production coordination
  • Michael "Banger" Cadahia – engineer
  • Elizabeth Gallardo – recording assistant
  • Bryan "Baby Birdman" Williams – executive producer
  • Trevor Muzzy – engineer, mixing, vocal editing
  • Noel Cadastre – recording assistant
  • Cortez Bryant – executive producer
  • Josh Thomas - producer, writer
  • Black Raw – mastering, mixing, additional production
  • Safaree "SB" Samuels – executive producer, A&R coordinator
  • Pop Wansel – producer
  • Rico Beats – producer
  • Clint Gibbs – recording assistant
  • Smitty – producer
  • Lukasz Gottwald – vocals
  • Jimmy Joker – producer, instrumentation
  • Katie Mitzell – production coordination
  • Cirkut – programming, instrumentation, producer
  • Scott "Yarmov" Yarmovsky – production coordination
  • Jermaine Preyan – executive producer
  • Ryan – producer
  • Jon Sher – mixing assistant, recording assistant
  • Jahshari Wilson – cover design
  • JusIce Beatz – producer
  • Nikhil Seethram – producer
  • JProof – producer
  • Flippa123 – producer
  • DJ Diamond Kuts – producer
  • Tim Roberts – mixing assistant
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Rivers – engineer
  • Kane – producer
  • Benny Blanco – programming, producer, instrumentation
  • Blackout – producer
  • Hype Williams – photography
  • Ke'Noe – producer
  • Dr. Luke – programming, producer, instrumentation
  • David Guetta – producer
  • Phil Seaford – mixing assistant
  • Nicholas Cooper – vocal producer
  • Tanisha Broadwater – production coordination
  • J.R. Rotem – producer
  • Irene Richter – production coordination
  • Giorgio Tuinfort – producer
  • Dream – lab producer
  • Hit Boy – producer

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[78] Gold 35,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[79] Platinum 15,000x
Japan (RIAJ)[80] Gold 100,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[81] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[82] Gold 242,000[54]^
United States (RIAA)[83] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Regions Dates Format(s) Label(s)
Germany[84] April 2, 2012 CD, digital download Universal Music, Cash Money
United Kingdom[85] Universal Island, Cash Money
France[86] Universal Music, Cash Money
Australia[87]
United States[88] April 3, 2012 Universal Music, Young Money, Cash Money
Canada[89]
Japan[90] April 11, 2012 Universal Music Japan, Cash Money
Brazil[91] April 23, 2012 Universal Music, Cash Money
China
Denmark
New Zealand
Netherlands

References[edit]

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