When Nicki Minaj promised us an album like no other, she was nowhere near kidding. The new Pink Friday is so different from the original that you may safely argue that they aren’t made by the same artist. Of course, you can also argue whether the entire songs on Pink Friday 2 were actually made by the same artist because they cut through a wide range of genres, and if I charged you with memorizing the names of the producers on this one record, you’re not going to be happy with me.
“Super Freaky Girl” was a strong start to the record, debuting at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and making her the first female rapper to debut at the summit since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” With such a strong start, Nicki then boldly promised us a record to remember and celebrate.
And yet when “Last Time I Saw You” dropped, fans weren’t ready to buy into this hype, despite the fact that, even though it’s Nicki as we’ve never heard her, it’s actually a really good song. But of course, by now we all know that the good songs barely make a mark on the charts, so the single bowed out at number 13 on the Billboard all-genre song chart.
The delays were also not fun for fans especially since they’ve been waiting for a new album for five years now. So you can imagine that when the album finally dropped on December 8, after two delays, it was a long time coming. As the Queen, in all senses of the word, the 22 songs quickly claimed the top spots on iTunes.
If you’ve been a long-time fan you probably know that Nicki is super protective of her Queen status and uses her songs to take shots at the competition. Pink Friday 2 is no different. “Who the fuck told bitches they was me now,” she raps in “Red Ruby Da Sleaze,” going on to question how her so-called competition could hope to come out of the cracks and try to take her out just because she was gone for a brief period. And by competition, she probably means the new-age female rappers – Ice Spice, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Latto, Saweetie, and even Cardi B – who are growing their rap empire, enough to even compete with Gag City.
Are they there yet though? Nicki disagrees, “They ain’t the one or the two or the three or the four, still don’t add up to me.” In “FTCU,” she raps, “Stay in your Tory lane, bitch, I’m not Iggy.”
Can you count the number of times “Barbie” showed up in the lines of the songs? I don’t think I honestly can. After collaborating on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie’s soundtrack, “Barbie World” with Ice Spice, you’d think we’ve gotten enough Barbie to last us a year. But not quite so. Red Ruby Da Sleaze may be the alter-ego created for this era, but we all know that it’s Dangerous Barbie that really takes center stage.
Pink Friday 2 gave us songs that boldly draw from R&B, dancehall, afrobeat, drill, pop, trap, Jersey Club, and more. She also allows her features to bring their sound to the songs, and while the samplings may not have been needed in some of the songs, I’d say Nicki set out to create something different and beautiful and achieved that.
Again, “who the fuck told bitches they was me now?”