The Pinkprint (International Deluxe Explicit)
Label: Nicki Minaj/Cash Money
Three albums into her career, Nicki Minaj remains an enigma. She's "Feeling Myself," rapping about domination on "Get on Your Knees" and embracing being a sex object, whether it's Drake and Lil Wayne drooling over her on "Only" or just shaking her ass for the hell of it on "Anaconda." But she's vulnerable, too. "All Things Go" is her most honest summary of celebrity life to date, and "Grand Piano" is a heartbreak ballad, no raps required. As always, she flips through pop fads, but The Pinkprint is less jarring than her earlier EDM-enhanced work, and the slower tempo suits her complex persona.