Every girl has those days when she wants to hear something a little hard core. On those days when R&B just won’t get the job done, and she’s not feeling spiritual enough to do the Neo Soul thing, she needs something with just enough banging-beat, booty shaking and catchy lyricism to lift her spirits. The problem: sometimes the fellas can be a little gruff- a little too hard core. The solution: Bizkit Presents: Nicki Minaj vs. Lola Monroe (Who’s Got the Crown).
Girl power at it’s finest, this is the latest installment from Bizkit Productions, the team (along with Tapemasters Inc.) that also brought you Young Rich and Dangerous- Lil Wayne, Something To Remember-Bizkit Presents Stack Bundles, 9-11 Hip-Hop Heroes and Who’s Got the Crown volumes 1-5.
Minaj vs. Monroe is the real. At 40 + tracks, it starts off slow, but is well worth a little bit of patience. I have to say I was fairly skeptical regarding the rhyming sills of model/actress/permanent video fixture Lola Monroe (aka Lola Angel Luv). I wasn’t totally convinced going in that the Ethiopian born- Washington D.C. raised Lola Monroe would be able to hold her own against Queens native and Lil Wayne protégée Nicki Minaj. By the time I reached track number 9, on which Lola does her take on the New Boyz’ “You’re a Jerk”, I had heard enough of both ladies to conclude Monroe does indeed posses the tools she needs to stand her ground.
Although Monroe claims to have had a music career in mind all along, the fact that she began her career as a model and video girl (she won BET’s “Video Vixen of the Year award in 2007) will cause some to doubt whether or not she’ll be able to cross over successfully. Minaj, who studied music and acting at La Guardia High School in Manhattan, seems to be more experienced in the game- and it shows.
The mixtape is an impressive collection of “do-overs”, with Minaj and Monroe putting their own unique twists on an interesting assortment of songs ranging from Mario’s “Break Up” to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. Though at first listen, it was tempting to pull out the over-used comparisons to Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and Trina, upon reaching track 41, I was more in the mind of the young MC Lytes, Queen Latifahs and Salt N Pepas of the late 80’s and early 90’s; female emcees fighting for a spot in the then emerging, male-dominated world of hip hop.
Overall, though presented as a battle between two promising young female rappers, Nicki Minaj vs. Lola Monroe (Who’s got the Crown) is more like a candid conversation between girlfriends. World-changing and conscientious- maybe not so much- but having something you can let play from start to finish without having to pick and choose which songs you can tolerate is a good thing; especially on those days when a girl just needs a little reminder that she can still rule the world and rock Jimmy Choos.