On April 3, 2012, Nicki Minaj released her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
Roman Reloaded debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with sales first-week sales of 253,000 copies – a generous decline from its predecessor Pink Friday with 375,000.
Unlike her first album (which was great), the new one had many critics, fans and myself scratching heads in confusion. This was not the fiery, lyrically-adept Nicki Minaj we had all fallen in love with. Roman Reloaded is a huge identity crisis as Minaj struggles to determine if she wants to be a rapper or a pop star. The latter is what she is definitely not that good at, mainly because she cannot sing well.
“Starships” was the lead single from the album and actually demonstrated stellar commercial performance. It climbed as high as number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Other than “Pound the Alarm,” which peaked at No. 15 on the Hot 100, the remaining singles from Roman Reloaded weren’t nearly as successful.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has moved about 831,000 copies in the United States to date. However, Roman Reloaded has been certified platinum by the RIAA based off of shipments* exceeding 1,000,000.
This past November, Minaj re-released the album under the name Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up and it really was a huge improvement from what she released months prior. Despite it not selling too well (probably because people were tired of her at that point), The Re-Up was a fan and critic favorite, and would be a great direction for Minaj to take her new project in.
Hopefully Minaj stays away from pop trash and puts more effort into Roman Reloaded’s successor. I just want Minaj to think about this question: would you rather sell albums or singles? Compare the quality and the sales of her first two albums to each other and you’ll see which one really sells.
*Shipments are not equivalent to sales. Certifications are based off of shipments.