Sophia Elias
Updated December 17, 2014 12:36 pm

No matter your opinion of Nicki Minaj, one fact is undeniable: She is one of the most prolific female rappers to hit the mainstream music scene in recent memory. Though this is a title to be revered, folks find it easy to write Minaj off as a one-trick pony. Granted, she’s most popularly known for her booty-shaking party anthems (“Anaconda” anyone?), but her latest album surpasses all expectations.

The Pinkprint, shows a drastically different side to Minaj, both as an artist and as a person. And while we still like to groove to an infectious beat as much as the next person, we love seeing this different side to Nicki. So without further ado, here are a few things we love about Nicki Minaj’s new album:

It offers us a never-before-seen look into her personal life

Even with all of her enigmatic alter egos, much of Nicki Minaj’s personal life has been shrouded in mystery, that is, up until now. In her song, “All Things Go” Minaj offers us a glimpse into her struggles beyond music industry politics. Billboard close-read the song, writing:

While the heaviness of these topics can be tough, this shift in material brings a relatability to her work. Not to mention, these confessions reflect a courage that is both heartfelt and inspiring.

“The Crying Game” with Jessie Ware is one of her strongest songs to date

In a rather unexpected turn, Nicki Minaj tapped the oh-so-very-talented Jessie Ware to sing alongside her on “The Crying Game.” It should come as no surprise that this is a heartbreaking song (I mean, it’s in the title), but the addition of Jessie Ware’s emotional vocals makes it that much more devastating.

Skylar Gray brings the indie-rock feels

Even though Nicki is specifically a pop-rap artist, it didn’t limit her sensibilities as a collaborator. Aside from bringing on songstress Jessie Ware, Nicki also tapped Skylar Grey to provide vocals for yet another heartbreaking track, “Bed of Lies.” Even if you don’t know Skylar by name, you definitely know her voice from being featured on tracks like Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go,” Dr. Dre’s “I Need A Doctor,” and Diddy’s “Coming Home.” As I’m sure you can image, Skylar’ voice adds an element of indie-rock to the otherwise rap-heavy song. Aah, we love the unexpected! Who doesn’t appreciate a little genre blending?
There are collaborations up the wazoo

The Pinkprint is far from one-note. While the creative style of this album is certainly more confessional, her collaborations also add quite a bit of diversity. Between heavyweights like Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Drake, Jeremih, Chris Brown, and Ariana Grande, to the more unexpected collaborations with Jessie Ware and Skylar Gray, Nicki Minaj has a patchwork blanket of music on the album. In addition to her more somber, down-tempo tracks, she’s got enough club bangers to last you your morning commute. Between “Anaconda, “Feeling Myself” (feat. Beyonce) and “The Night is Still Young,” we’re feelin’ for the weekend.

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