In case you were confused about the title, let me fill you in – the album honors Nicki Minaj’s alter ego, Roman Zolanski. And Roman is a foul mouthed, irate persona that comes out in full force when Minaj gets angry. Oh, he’s also her twin brother too.

If you’re still following, and I hope you are, “Roman Reloaded” is a semi-conceptual album that undoubtedly features Roman in the first six tracks. Full of hard hitting beats and raw lyricism, there is a noticeable absence of the clever, bubble-gum sweetness that dominates Minaj’s more pop-esque hits. “Roman Holiday” borderlines between quirky and maniacal with its Christmas infused hook and intermittent cameo from Roman’s British mother, Martha. “Come on a Cone” abuses the use of bitches and “his” (or maybe hers, symbolically speaking) dick when rapping about couture and Anna Wintour. One of the gems on the entire album is “Beez in the Trap,” with 2 Chainz making an appearance and contributing a verse that still wows after multiple listens.

Once Roman is weaned off, Minaj comes back into the picture with club bangers and pop jams that make the first third seem like a blip in the scheme of things. It is all sugary sweet and straight sailing with Minaj crooning and sporadic appearances from Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Beenie Man. “Pound the Alarm” is a dance track that is heavy on the bass. “Right by My Side” has Brown and Minaj harmonizing about their fictitious love for each other. “Young Forever” showcases the softer side of Minaj with heavy pulsing beats and saccharine melody.

Minaj is a master of her craft and exhibits her snarky persona throughout “Roman Reloaded.” Though it’s difficult to see this as a conceptual album, if looked at as an experiment of flipping gender roles within hip-hop, it almost makes sense. But it’s not enough to make a strong statement.

About the Author

Aimee Mandle
Aimee Mandle
Aimee is another awesome member of the iSPY team.