News: Nicki Minaj Raises Bar For 'Pink Friday' Follow-Up, "It's Gonna Be Important For Just Hip-Hop & Pop Culture"

Saturday, Mar 3, 2012 10:22AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

As Young Money star Nicki Minaj stares down the remaining weeks before her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album hits store shelves, the rapper is predicting its overall importance for not only hip-hop but pop culture as well.

Asked if the LP would lean more toward a pop or urban sound, Nicki simply said both genres will be equally satisfied.

Anticipation is building for Nick's sophomore LP, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and with a little more than a month left before it is released, many are still unsure which direction the Young Money star will take. Will the album sound more like the title track or "Starships"? Of course, there is always a middle ground. "April 3 is gonna be a doozy. It's gonna be crazy," Nicki said of her album release date. "It's gonna be important for just hip-hop culture and pop culture. It's gonna be very big." (MTV)

This week, Minaj's album cover art landed online, showing the rapper decked out in face paint.

Nicki Minaj has revealed the cover art for her 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' album, which is slated for release on April 3. Surprisingly, for an LP that is supposed to be recorded mainly in the voice of Nicki's unforgiving, crazed alter ego Roman Zolanski, the cover art is bright and colorful. The splattered paint effect against the stark white background also makes us think of Willow's video for 'Whip My Hair.' The text below the picture of Nicki, who is staring us down wearing her colorful makeup and mega lashes, kind of looks like something you'd see on an old-school Lisa Frank folder. (Pop Crush)

While the artwork circulated online, Nicki hopped on Twitter to confirm the LP's April 3rd release date.

Nicki tweeted out the cover artwork earlier today and changed her Twitter skin to reflect the new look. "Pink Friday: ROMAN RELOADED | April 3rd | #AlbumCover#ItBangBang," she wrote. Fans quickly took to Twitter to share their thoughts, which was largely divided. While die-hard Barbz gushed over it with sentiments like "Album cover ... I think I just died" and "Love it", detractors weren't too impressed: "You look a mess boo LMAO" and "Why is album artwork so terrible lately?" (RapFix)

After receiving some backlash over her new "Starships" record sounding too pop, the 29 year-old emcee defended her image.

"I would hope that people know at this point that I'm smart enough to know what I'm doing all the time. But I guess they still kind of waiver. I always intended on putting out something urban after 'Starships,' because I knew 'Starships' was a monster," she explained. "Maybe it would be a problem if I couldn't deliver records like 'Roman Reloaded,' but I can. I write my own lyrics. Once again, I write my own lyrics. So it's never a problem. Whatever I feel, I can write, I can create it. So I'm good. I think people sometimes get blown away by the magnitude of the pop stuff, because the pop stuff, it reaches everywhere and then I feel like my hip-hop fans or hip-hop culture starts getting a little bit afraid that I'm going to leave. But this is who I am. I'm not going to change - I'm just adding on to my brand. And if you don't understand that, then it's probably why you don't travel and you don't see the world and I probably can't even have a conversation with you anymore." (Hot 97)

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is slated to hit stores Tuesday, April 3rd.

Check out a recent Nicki Minaj interview below:

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