Album Review: “The Pinkprint” by Nicki Minaj

Warning: Nicki Minaj has a lot of feelings.

We’ve seen Nicki Minaj come out in wigs of every color, we’ve heard her lyrics about how she owns the rap game and that she’s on top and unbeatable. She’s a character who almost crossed into cartoonish territory. On December 15th, she left all of that for tame melodies and more singing than we’ve ever seen from her. That being said, she does not sacrifice her lyricism for mainstream beats. This time around the lyrics are toned down in terms of speed, Minaj seems to focus on crafting her story rather than fitting as many words into one breath.

Her intentions are more than becoming the most powerful woman or rapping circles around the newest softened rapper to be churned out by the latest industry machine. She says in her first track “All Things Go”: “Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel/ And I’m good with that, as long as I’m peaceful/ As long as 7 years from now, I’m taking my daughter to preschool”

Her promotional drip release of songs from the album including “Anaconda” which racked up YouTube view records out the wazoo, “Only” an amazing track featuring the amazing team up with Drake and Lil Wayne, also proved she could hold her own. These had caught the attention of the listeners but did not prepare for what was to come. The exhaustion she’s faced from going through a very rocky and rollercoaster-like personal life is apparent and Minaj really lets the window open during the first four tracks. She begins to lay everything on the line during “All Things Go”, “I Lied” and “The Crying Game” beginning with the most vulnerable and also the first three tracks. She begins to pull herself back together with “Get On Your Knees” feat. Ariana Grande, coming back with lyrics lifting herself up.

“Feeling Myself” feat. Beyonce. After their collaboration on the “***Flawless (Remix)”, another collab was greatly welcomed and did not disappoint. The production seemingly simple with Beyonce taking over the chorus and Minaj rapping her usual game including punches toward inferior women and her luxuries. This is the Nicki Minaj we have come to know and just because she has gone through rough patches in her personal life doesn’t mean that she’s lost any of her spirit. Sure, she has fallen quite a bit, but she’s risen just as well and shows towards the middle of the album.

These were some of the tracks that fell short. “Pill N Potions”, a sort of take on a ballad for Minaj, hit the radio earlier this year but unfortunately lacks passion of any kind. “Trini Dem Girls” is undeniably dance inducing, but this track comes out of left field in the middle of the album. It doesn’t fit, it also doesn’t make much sense.

In the end, this album is far from perfect but exactly what Nicki Minaj needed. This album rounds her out as a person and recognizes her as a relatable figure who goes through every day events like everyone else. It’s not so stellar tracks weigh down the album a bit, but the important part is that she was able to make an album on her own time, in her own way.

Rating: 3.5/5

Posted in Albums, Artists, Music, Reviews

Too Many Coogs – Episode 10 – Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

Hang on, folks.  Too Many Coogs is a podcast presented by Coog Radio that is about… well… who knows, really?  Tune in every Thursday at 1pm Central to listen in!

This week, Justin, Michael, and “M Night Shamalan” discuss movies and more movies and more movies and occasionally talk about other things.

Too Many Coogs – Episode 9 – The End of Society

Hang on, folks.  Too Many Coogs is a podcast presented by Coog Radio that is about… well… who knows, really?  Tune in every Thursday at 1pm Central to listen in!

Michael, Raj, Justin, and special guest Kim let finals get the better of them, discuss recent pizza developments, and end up (as always) discussing anime and video games.

TV Shows with Amazing Soundtracks

  1. HBO’s Girls

From New Order, Oasis to Solange, the Girls’ soundtrack is definitely one worth a listen. It’s quixotic, crazy and fits hilariously and perfectly into just about every single scene whether it is of Hannah and Jessa singing “Wonderwall” melancholically in a bathtub, or of Marnie miserably ruining Kanye West’s “Stronger” at an office party at an attempt to regain her lover, the show’s soundtrack manages to make every moment memorable.


  1. Breaking Bad

Diverse and vibrant, Breaking Bad by far features some of the best music on TV. From Yellowman to Gnarls Barkley and Thee Oh Sees, this show covers just about every genre (as well as in a few different languages).


  1. Gossip Girl

A mix of lively indie and alternative hits, Gossip Girl brought the likes of The Naked and Famous, Band of Horses, Beach House and Vampire Weekend into the TV show mainstream. From the whistles of Peter Bjorn and John announcing Serena’s arrival to the Upper East side to Nate and Serena’s make out session to the tune of Cold War Kids’ hit, “Take Me Out to Dry,” the sounds of modern popular indie music make up the majority of the show and give it just the right kind of appeal to attract audiences who normally wouldn’t go for the show centering around a bunch of rich, snobby prep kids.


  1. Glee

Okay as much as people agree to disagree on the qualities and downturns to this show, there have been some covers that have made it the Emmy nominated jewel it is today. From the cast’s Firework cover of Katy Perry’s hit song to Lea Michele’s tear jerking cover of Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts”- the fantastic and ridiculously talented cast has made some pretty unforgettable renditions of some of America’s most coveted songs.


Posted in Features, Music, Staff Picks

Trent’s TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2014

Regardless of what same might say about the current musical landscape, great albums come out every year without fail. 2014 was no exception. Many established artist released their best works to date (Beyonce, St Vincent, Ingrid Michaelson) and those were complemented by many great debut albums from new artists as well (Azealia Banks, Betty Who, Kieza.) Amongst all this, there were some albums that I couldn’t stop listening to this year and I’m taking this time to recommend my top 5 of the year to you along with some honorable mentions that you should also check out. I’ve taken the liberty of making this experience EVEN EASIER by listing the key tracks from these albums and making a SPOTIFY playlist of them all together! I’ve included the key tracks from the honorable mentions as well so you can determine which albums you might want to check out in full.


via Pitchfork Media


# 5: Perfume Genius-Too Bright

!WARNING WARNING; THIS ALBUM IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! The sensitivity and blatant depression that is conveyed by Perfume Genius in all his albums is “slightly” lightened here on Too Bright, but still tugs at the heartstrings. He’s one of the most experimental and honest male artists in the game right now and although he still shows his indie-ballad style on this record, his dabbling in synth-pop and more straightforward tunes could transition into a spot in the mainstream soon enough.

Key Tracks: “Grid”, “Fool”, “Queen”

via Consequence of Sound


#4: Betty Who-Take Me When You Go

 I’ve followed Betty Who ever since she released her first E.P. The Movement in 2012 (actually it was so early on that it was a free download) and ever since then she’s blossomed into a budding pop sensation. She had early buzz when a proposal video in a Home Depot used her track “Somebody Loves You” went viral and after that subsequent touring and another E.P. Slow Dancing made way for her major label debut Take Me When You Go. Songs from both  E.P.s show up here with new tracks as well. She has the sound of dance-floor pop icons like Kylie Minogue and Rihanna, but counters that with a singer-songwriter vocal and lyrical style. With the success of this release, she’s one to watch in 2015.

Key Tracks: “High Society”, “Alone Again”, “Dreaming About You”

via Asthmatic Kitty Records


#3: Mozart’s Sister-Being

 Another synth-pop up-and-comer, Montreal’s own Mozart’s Sister is out for blood with this full-length debut Being. Songs from her previous E.P. Hello show up in re-worked version on this release, but it’s the new tracks that are the most telling to where her sound is going next. She’s been compared to her fellow Canadian songstress Grimes and American mezzo-soprano pop singer Sanitgold, but Mozart’s Sister has KILLER pipes and great musical composition skills that separate her stylistically from her peers. Being feels urgent and commanding when listened in full and leaves me curious as to what she’ll do next.

Key Tracks: “Good Thing Bad Thing”, “Enjoy”, “Lone Wolf”


#2: Röyksopp & Robyn-Do It Again

 Although this was labeled a “mini-album,” nothing feels “mini” about this release at all. It feels concise and complete with great dance-pop arrangements and chilled-out beats galore. Robyn sings heartfelt lyrics on “Every Little Thing” and turns on the anthemic charm with the jam “Do It Again.” Every time this pair works together something memorable is produced and Do It Again proves that they can indeed do it over and over again.

 Key Tracks: “Monument”, “SayIt”, “Every Little Thing”




#1: St. Vincent-St. Vincent

 I could say so much about this artist and how much I admire her, but I’ll spare you the geek-out-fest and focus on why this self-titled album is clearly the album of the year. In the press she’s said that she self-titled this album because it’s the album where she felt she’s sounded “most like herself,” and I couldn’t agree more. After working with David Byrne of Talking Heads on the collaborative release Love This Giant in 2012, it would obviously impact her work for years to come. When working with such an icon and performing with him and learning tips and tricks, how could one NOT be excited to put them to use. This album still has nods to her previous releases like Strange Mercy and Actor with airy ballads and clever lyrical content, but is now enhanced with more pop-centric funk laced tracks like “Digital Witness” and dream-pop moments like “I Prefer Your Love.” This does feel like the real St. Vincent and because of the success of this release, she has been exposed to a whole new audience who can experience her more “accessible” sound. Yet, she still hasn’t sacrificed her performance-art-style live shows and she continues to “fight the good fight” in the media for women in music and artistic freedom as well.

Key Tracks: “Digital Witness”, “Rattlesnake”, “I Prefer Your Love”


Honorable Mentions:


Ingrid Michaelson-Light’s Out

Key Tracks: “Girls Chase Boys”, “Warpath”, “Afterlife”

-No Mythologies to Follow

Key Tracks- “Waste of Time”, “Walk This Way”, “Glass”

Azealia Banks-Broke With Expensive Taste

Key Tracks: “Heavy Metal and Reflective”, “BBD”, “Miss Camaraderie”

Prince-Art Official Age

Key Tracks: “The Gold Standard”, “Breakfast Can Wait”, “What It Feels Like”


Faded Paper Figures-Relics

Key Tracks: “Breathing”, “On the Line”, “Spare Me”


Don’t forget to listen to the playlist below and comment what you think! Share this post as well if you feel so inclined!

Posted in Albums, Artists, Features, Music, Staff Picks

Modest Mouse Announces First New Album in Eight Years


March 3, 2015 marks the release date of Modest Mouse’s much-anticipated new album. The band titled their new work, “Strangers to Ourselves” and has posted pictures on their Instagram of artwork, which could potentially be the cover art for a single or the album itself.
The critically acclaimed band last released an album in 2007, which reached number one in the American Billboard 200 as well as achieved Gold standing in Canada for reaching 500,000 sold copies.

Their single, “Lampshades on Fire” was released this Monday and can be found online.

Posted in Bands, Music, New Releases

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