Star strips things back for new album
Michael Baggs

09:59 23rd April 2014

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US rapper Nicki Minaj has revealed how she has ditched the pop sounds that made her a superstar on her new album, and is returning to her 'hip-hop roots'.

Minaj initially found acclaim with guest spots on tracks by huge names in the hip-hop world, but later hit the mainstream and scored international hits with tracks such as 'Superbass', 'Starships' and 'Pound The Alarm' - much to the annoyance of those who supported her early, more credible work. Now, the star admits she has shunned the hi-energy sounds of her biggest hits and is going back to the sounds of her earlier work.

"The tracks on 'Pink Print' are back to my hip-hop roots," she tells MTV News. "I don't think it's something that I'm necessarily trying to do [go in a new direction]. It's like as soon as I started working on my new album, that's just the songs that I've been writing."

"I'm just gonna do what my heart tells me to do."

Listen to Minaj's return to her hip-hop roots on new track 'Chi-Raq' below

Minaj also added that she would scale back on the cartoon-like costumes she became known for, and claims her new natural look is meant to be more of a shock than a three-foot pink wig.

"You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, 'Hey guess what? This will shock them even more," she added. "Doing nothing will shock them even more... I really kind of let things happened gradually."

Below: 7 things we want to hear on Nicki Minaj's new album, The Pink Print


  • 1. Back to basics, please: 'Lookin' Ass N***a' is a promising first preview of The Pink Print - Nicki's aggressive, cut-throat lyrics and delivery hark back to her early days. She's also got rid of the cartoonish wigs and silly costumes - we hope this new back-to-basics aesthetic is demonstrative of the rest of the record.

  • 2: Less guest appearances: And if there are any, let them be worthy of Nicki. Both her albums have been bloated with guest spots from underwhelming rappers who quite frankly, don't hold a candle to Nicki. We know you're close with Lil Wayne, Nicki, but let's be honest - he fell off years ago. How about some appearances from fresher, more exciting acts like A$AP Ferg or Schoolboy Q?

  • 3: A pop banger is allowed, but there can't be two that sound the same: We unashamedly danced our arses off to Nicki's 'Starships' upon its release. Then it came out again, but it was called 'Pound The Alarm', and we were confused. If you're not getting our use of heavy irony here, both songs basically sounded EXACTLY THE SAME. High octane verse, breakdown for a chorus, then a mad, pumping techno instrumental. Yes, going pop is fine Nicki, but one song only. ONE SONG. And no RedOne.

  • 4. No re-releasing of old albums: The Pink Print: Pink Friday: Reloaded and Re-Upped is NOT what we want. It's confusing, and we've listened to all your old material now. We'd like a standalone record, 12 tracks at the most, not with a record from 2012 tagged on the end. [NB: We realise these past decisions were probably her record label's]. Thank you.

  • 5. The line between jokey and downright stupid needs to be tread carefully: Nicki's early track 'Itty Bitty Piggy' is one of our favourites - who can forget the gleeful cry of "It's me! I win! You lose! I'm a bad bitch, I'ma I'ma bad bitch". Roman Reloaded track 'Stupid Hoe' tried to emulate that, but it was a poor imitation - just too basic. We love Nicki's zingers, but they need to be a little more complex than "You a stupid hoe. You a you a stupid hoe" repeated ten times over.

  • 6. A duet with Lil Kim: We know the chance of this happening are about as likely as Nicki announcing The Pink Print will be a compilation of shoegaze indie, considering the "beef" they have, but imagine how amazing it would be.

  • 7. Less of the wigs and ridiculous outfits: We totally support wearing whatever the hell you want if it takes your fancy, and no-one should tell you otherwise. This rule, clearly, applies to Minaj as well but unfortunately as a female rapper, she's had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry, and the cartoonish wigs and outfits don't help. More importantly, we feel they overshadowed her considerable talent. We're loving this new wigless, pared down look in the video for 'Lookin' Ass N***a' - she looks fierce and amazing.

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