“I got ’em scared, shook, panickin’,” Nicki Minaj boasts in her Eminem duet “Roman’s Revenge,” and anyone who’s heard this one-of-a-kind MC knows she isn’t kidding. Her mixtapes and guest shots made her massive — she totally stole Kanye West’s “Monster,” rhyming “Tonka,” “Willy Wonka” and “bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka.” On Pink Friday, the year’s most anticipated hip-hop debut, she’s already rapping about the superstar life. In the standout opener, “I’m the Best,” she wonders, “Which world tour should I go on today?”
Friday is surprisingly pop — there’s nothing as weird or striking as her “Monster” cameo. Instead, Minaj aims for a Rihanna-style crossover approach, singing R&B choruses over electro floss and toning down her nasty side. Ri herself guests on “Fly,” while Natasha Bedingfield does the hook-girl honors on “Last Chance.” “Blazin” is a Kanye rematch, except this time he gets all the best lines (especially “I got two White Russians, but we also need some drinks”).