I have to say, I did not expect this to be good. It's a re-release of a massive, schizophrenic mosh pit of genres cram-packed into one small disc. I expected some lame tracks like Champion or Sex in the Lounge when she promised rap Nicki. However, she completely delivers and overrides my original thoughts. The snippets were a letdown...but let me tell you, this actually blew me away on certain tracks.
1. Up in Flames - Her rhymes are flawless and this song is hot. The woman singing in the chorus isn't that great, but this song is absolute fire. Amazing. 9/10
2. Freedom - This track is just okay. It really got my expectations low for The Re-Up. This track is boring like Champion. It's nice to listen to, but, even after multiple plays, I can't recite lyrics. It has no catchiness factor. 5/10
3. Hell Yeah (feat. Parker) - Eh, not totally feeling this one. It isn't something I'll frequent but it was decent for one or two listens. Parker is once again what holds the track back. 5/10
4. High School (feat. Lil Wayne) - This track is fun, but incredibly dirty. "Her p***y is like an oven, too hot to put my tongue in" is probably the most awkward thing Lil Wayne has ever uttered. I won't frequent this too much, but it is better than Freedom and Hell Yeah. 6/10
5. I'm Legit (feat. Ciara) - Okay, when I saw that The Re-Up has features by Ciara and Cassie, I really thought this was Nicki's charity gig for has-beens, but both women turn it out. This track is one of the best, dripping with independent female swag. I love it! 8/10
6. I Endorse These Strippers (feat. Tyga & Brinx) - I really thought I would hate this track. The snippet didn't do anything to change that feeling. The full track just blew my mind. It's so fierce, sexy, and amazing. Hands down the best track from The Re-Up. It's strikingly similar to I Luv Dem Strippers where she featured for 2 Chainz, but this track kills it. Her raps are flawless and intense. This will make its way to my year end Top 100, despite such a late entry. It'll rack up those cumulative plays in no time! 10/10
7. The Boys (feat. Cassie) - Originally, this made me think The Re-Up was going to be messy. I hated it. It seemed like 3 tracks edited together for a schizophrenic stop-go mess. Over time, Nicki's killer raps got the best of me and I fell in love with this song. I'm not totally here for Cassie's parts, but it isn't like it's wretched or anything. Plus, the video was totally cool. Definitely a highlight. 7/10
8. Va Va Voom - Should I waste my time reviewing this again? I guess it makes sense to include it on The Re-Up since the re-release only includes the standard version of Roman Reloaded. However, they should have added Masquerade too because it's flawless. Va Va Voom's video really killed the song for me. Her videos have a notorious habit of going nowhere when they could have been amazing (i.e. Va Va Voom, Turn Me On, Right By My Side, etc.). Since the original review, I've lost interest in this song so I'm going to dock it to a 7/10.
This album truly exceeded my expectations tremendously. Nicki proved she still has that flawless rapping queen that we knew from Pink Friday and her mixtapes left in her. The Re-Up complete makes up for the garbage tracks on the original (Gun Shot, Champion, Sex in the Lounge, etc.). The re-release could have honestly infused these tracks and dropped some of the old to make a completely perfect rap album. I love Nicki and Lil Kim, but I have to say Nicki has more rapping talent than Kim ever did....she just needs to showcase it more often. Her flow in Up in Flames and I Endorse These Strippers is sick in such an amazing way. I will be jamming on this. It totally overshadows Unapologetic. The album cover for The Re-Up completely showcases Mixtape Nicki too. She's absolutely gorgeous, I wish she'd stop trying so hard to be blonde. The cover is far far less messier than the original standard and deluxe covers. Keep killin' em, Nick.
Average Rating - 7.1/10