Nicki Minaj’s third album The Pinkprint lands in stores today. On her most personal project yet, the rap queen holds court with Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill, and enlists production from hitmakers including Da Internz, Mike WiLL Made-It, Dr. Luke, Hit-Boy, and Boi-1da.
From big booty anthems (“Anaconda”) to big ballads (“Grand Piano”), the 32-year-old icon shows her versatility, while keeping in check with her mixtape roots. She reveals her secrets on the confessional opening number “All Things Go,” and proves that she can rap with the best of them on “Four Door Aventador.”
“I think the album is so classic,” Nicki said of the follow-up to 2012′s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. “It’s gonna feel so good and I think it will probably be something that female rappers look to as a Pinkprint for years to come.”
Did The Pinkprint make its mark with critics? The reviews are in.
Los Angeles Times: The Pinkprint won’t fully placate the hard-core rap heads, but it’s got the bangs and the thrills many of us have hoped for, even if it’s a slow build kind of power and slacks at times. 3/4
The New York Times: The Pinkprint is her third studio album, and like the first two it’s full of compromises and half-successes. Sometimes she wants to be cousins with OneRepublic, sometimes Lil Wayne. And she succeeds at both, though only one of those goals is noble.
USA Today: The deftly syncopated and haunting “All Things Go” seems more authentically confessional, with Minaj admitting to her doubts and her dreams. The more upbeat “The Night Is Still Young,” with its funky bass and guitars, is another high point, with Minaj professing, “Life is a journey/I just want to enjoy the ride.” 2.5/4
New York Daily News: It’s the most pop-friendly album of her career, primed for evening the playing field with teen-adored stars like [Iggy] Azalea. 3/5
New York Post: The New Yorker serves up a surprisingly introspective and atmospheric third album, The Pinkprint. … She’s still Nicki, but the person is now just as big as the persona. 3/4
The Atlantic: As a personal statement, The Pinkprint works effectively. As analbum … it has some issues. There are absolutely highlights: The Beyoncé-featuring “Feeling Myself” is a delightfully cocky boast for both queens. The two Meek Mill collaborations—”Big Daddy” and “Buy a Heart”—practically bounce through the listener, they’re so energetic.
Tyga’s fallout with Young Money is getting uglier. The Last Kings rapper has called out his labelmate Drake for being “fake.”
Earlier this month, Tyga took to Twitter and accused Young Money of holding him hostage. He threatened to leave the label if they didn’t give him a release date for The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty. After his tweets, Young Money president Mack Maine fired back and Nicki Minaj unfollowed him on Twitter.
But trouble has been brewing for some time now. “I’m tryna go independent,” Tyga recently told VIBE. “I don’t really get along with Drake. I don’t really get along with Nicki.”
“I don’t like Drake as a person. He’s just fake to me,” he continued. “I like his music; you know what I’m saying? I think his music is good, but we’re all different people. We were forced together and it was kinda like we were forcing relationships together. It is what it is.”
Lil Wayne was the glue holding the relationship together. “I think being signed to Young Money, everybody felt like they had to force a relationship ’cause Wayne put us together,” he said. “At the end of the day the reason why I signed to Young Money is because of Wayne. Not because of Drake, not because of Nicki. It was because of Wayne and my relationship with him. I try to be cool with everybody, but sometimes, everybody just has different personalities, motives, and different characters. When you realize that, you realize that’s not a place where you want to continue to grow.”
Someone who he is friends with is Chris Brown. “That’s my real genuine friend. We hang out all the time. He lives up the street from me, so we don’t just do music, we hang.”
He will join Chris and Trey Songz on their upcoming joint tour, and is collaborating with Chris on the Fan of a Fan 2 album. “We are going on tour soon, but me and Chris’ album might not drop [this year]. It’s supposed to drop Christmas, but if it doesn’t I think Valentine’s Day is cool too. We gotta figure out what’s best and the right plan, but all the music is there.”
In the interview, Tyga also denied that he is dating Kylie Jenner and addressed his breakup with baby mama Blac Chyna. The couple has a two-year-old son named King together.
“We decided to take a break apart ’cause you don’t wanna raise an emotionally unstable child, and that’s what it comes down to,” he said. “It wasn’t my happiness, and it wasn’t her happiness. It was for the sake of King.”
Tyga is moving ahead with The Gold Album—with or without Young Money—and has tapped Kanye West as executive producer. “I get inspired being around ‘Ye. At the end of the day, it’s [about] finding what you’re great at.”
The daytime talk show host (and everybody’s favorite person ever) kicked off the new season of her show today (Sept. 9) and what better way to do it than by recreating Nicki Minaj’s sexy “Anaconda” video.
Ellen throws on some booty shorts, a white tank top accessorized with a pair of doorknockers, a gold rope chain and the same blue and pink kicks Nicki had on and proceeds to do her best booty popping. While the clip is only about 90 seconds, you can’t help but laugh for the entire time.
Man, that Ellen. You just gotta love her!