Where is Nicki’s Alter-Ego, Roman Zolanski?

Who is Roman Zolanski?

Like many artists, Nicki Minaj uses an alter ego to experiment and take on different emotions. By taking on the character of a homosexual English man in rap, Nicki allows this ego to step in and do things like breaking tradition and testing out the waters. “Roman In Moscow’‘ is a song with no bridge or hook, which are both integral in constructing a song.

We can see that Nicki plays with the traditional construction of rap here and uses Roman as another lens to share her perspective on the subject. Often a non-commercial method, the alter-ego allows an artist to tell stories from different perspectives, even ones that they themselves don’t need to align with necessarily; it’s all about the effect it has. That effect is one we can see clearly with Roman Zolanski, who was quickly adored and accepted by Nicki fans as a sort of cathartic expression. Despite not being a highlighted feature on Nicki’s discography, Roman and her other alter-egos continuously garner more attention than even some of her most popular songs.

What Makes Roman Standout?

Alter-egos are no new feature to rap. Eminem has ‘Slim Shady,’ Beyonce’s got ‘Sasha Fierce’ and Megan Thee Stallion has ‘Tina Star.’ But when it comes to Nicki, she is not used to ordinary. Along with Roman, Nicki brings the whole family with Martha Zolanski coming in to play the godmother of Nicki and mother of Roman. You’ll find Martha on the track “Roman’s Revenge,” usually used to be a strict and confident voice that takes no BS. 

These egos aren’t always friendly, in the track “Monster,” Nicki does some incredible character play as Roman and Barbie go back and forth budding heads. Not only is she featured on the track, meaning she’s gotta bring it hard, but she also steals the entire song by creating this imagery. Leaving “Monster” to be one of Nicki’s most recognizable tracks, just goes to show how effective her characters can be. For more on this song specifically, No Ghostwriter has you covered

Where’s He Gone?

But Roman’s gone missing, at the end of “Roman Holiday.” It seems Martha directed Roman to take a little break, claiming he needs “alterations” to his brain. Since then, it’s been pretty quiet on the Roman front until “Barbie Dreams” when Barbz caught on to that familiar tone at the end. An interesting comment on Genius says, “Throughout this verse, a civil defense siren (more commonly known as an “Air Raid” siren) can be heard behind the beat. The siren is used to alert populations about an emergency that is about to occur. This siren could be included to warn listeners that Roman Zolanski is back to drop bombs.” 

There’s something special about this minuscule hint at Roman coming back. Speaking more on the facet of marketing, Nicki reigns in as a genius in this right. Not only is she giving listeners a different sort of experience, one that takes on a narrative like a movie, but she teases things just like billion-dollar studios do; only with finesse. 

“You’re enough on your own,” Blessing says it best in our HHU video on youtube. This is the message that Nicki sends when she pulls out her alter egos. The creativity and passion for rap go beyond rhyme schemes and turn it into something even more exciting. We’ve already seen that Nicki has an incredible talent for stage performance, turning the Grammy’s upside down in 2012. These characters play a role in so much more than the songs they’re in; they play a role in creating a world for their artist. 

If you want to check out more thoughts on Roman Zolanski, please check out our HIP HIP UNCOVERED Video

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