Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
Nicki Minaj's year was schizophrenic. She conquered and (some would say) faltered in the worlds of both hip-hop and pop, and the entire ride was just as chaotic as it was entertaining. Mad scientist experiments like Minaj's genre-bending sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, tend to spawn at least a couple of genius moments, and the greatest example here is its single, "Beez in the Trap."
The record was a return to form for Nicki, with raps reminiscent of her mixtape days. Her willingness to branch outside of that sound had no negative impact on her ability to master it, either. Whether she's talking about dropping off women who "won't give it up" or rhythmically listing off every noteworthy city and state on the U.S. map, this is Nicki's best performance of the year.
Enlisting 2 Chainz for a guest verse at the height of "2 Chainz doing guest verses" mania was just the icing on the cake. — EB