Reviews

Nicki Minaj “Pink Friday 2” Album Review

Pink Friday 2

Nicki Minaj

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Date: 08 Dec, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 22
  • Young Money; ℗ 2023 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Nicki Minaj &Quot;Pink Friday 2&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 17, 2024

Nicki Minaj is a versatile artist who has had a successful 16-year career. She is known for transforming into various personas and showcasing her theatrical skills as a chameleonic character rapper. Her debut album, Pink Friday, was a groundbreaking success that revolutionized the music industry and broke records. This album marked the beginning of a new era for female rappers. With the release of her fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, Nicki continues to push boundaries and collaborate with other talented artists.

Nicki’s influence extends beyond her music. She has become a role model for female rappers who can stand independently and challenge traditional gender norms in the music industry. Her music has inspired many and continues to inspire female artists today. Fans of Nicki can look forward to hearing more from her in the future, as she remains at the forefront of the music industry and a pioneer for female empowerment. Pink Friday 2, released on December 8, 2023, by Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records, is Nicki’s first studio album in five years, following the release of Queen (2018). The album features collaborations with J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Tate Kobang, Drake, Lourdiz, Lil Uzi Vert, Skillibeng, Skeng, Future, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and 50 Cent. The album includes two singles, “Super Freaky Girl” and “Last Time I Saw You,” debuting at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Album Art

Nicki Minaj &Quot;Pink Friday 2&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 17, 2024

Nicki’s album cover is a masterpiece. She looks stunning in her exquisite outfit, complimented by a beautiful heart-shaped pendant draped around her neck while standing on a PF2 platform above the city. The pink theme is evident in every detail of the cover, which showcases Nicki’s exceptional attention to detail that she has carried throughout her album.

Tracks And Features

The album starts with a touching track titled “Are You Gone Already?” produced by Finneas and featuring a sample from Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over.”. The song deals with the pain of losing her father in a hit-and-run accident in 2021. In other songs like “Beep Beep” and “Barbie Dangerous,” she demonstrates her versatility as a rapper and channels the style of Mixtape Nicki. The latter track even samples Biggie’s “Notorious Thugs.”. However, on “RNB,” a collaboration with Tate Kobang and Lil Wayne, Minaj’s lyrics are overshadowed by Wayne’s, and she seems to be reminded of the pressure she faced early in her career to undergo cosmetic surgery. This unfortunate context detracts from the music.

It could be argued that J. Cole’s verse on the album is the best, despite the competition being tighter than expected. The song “Let Me Calm Down” focuses on family struggles and is portrayed very well, revealing glimpses of what a more serious, concentrated, mature Nicki Minaj could have produced. In another track, Minaj raps smoothly over a sample of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” However, the same approach is used in “My Life,” which features a high-pitched snippet of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” adding little to the song and making it sound murky and unfinished.

“The single “Super Freaky Girl” was released on August 12, 2022, as a part of an album. The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, was uploaded to Nicki Minaj’s YouTube account on September 1. The song debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. This was a significant achievement for Minaj, who became the first solo female rapper to debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. Additionally, she was the first female rapper in the 21st century to debut a solo song at number one. The song sampled a familiar tune by Rick James, which MC Hammer had used before. Dr. Luke and Hipgnosis manipulated the melody for this song. Despite the chorus’s popularity, which could have overshadowed Minaj’s playful verses, the song’s success proved the financial benefits of using nostalgia from multiple generations.

On September 1, “Last Time I Saw You” was released as the album’s second single. The song reached number 23 on the Hot 100 chart and six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On September 12, Minaj performed “Last Time I Saw You” at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards and surprised the audience with a new track called “Big Difference” from the album. Although ATL Jacob had used Waka Flocka Flame’s Flockaveli standout to build the beat for “FTCU,” it did not connect with Nicki’s bars, leading to a monotonous sound. The track was overshadowed by a name-drop mentioning Tory Lanez-Iggy Azalea, and it was unclear who she was shading with the lyrics.

On “Beep Beep,” Nicki Minaj’s rhymes are as sharp as ever. However, they are often drowned out by excessive production and cheesy sonic embellishments. The track is produced by Murda Beatz, and in just 1 minute and 36 seconds, Minaj raps through a single verse and bridge with murder on her mind. She poses a valid question to her haters and takes pride in her Caribbean roots, which she showcases on the track. Minaj even collaborates with two dancehall standouts from Jamaica, Skillibeng and Skeng. “Forward from Trini” is a potential hit and could be the perfect song for Onika’s next trip to Trinidad for Carnival in 2024.

On March 3, 2023, Nicki Minaj released the promotional single “Red Ruby da Sleeze,” describing it as her “street record” before her “next official single.” The song reached number 13 on the Hot 100 and 4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On October 13, Minaj released the “Bahm Bahm” track on her website, describing it as an outtake that was later included on the album. In the song “Cowgirl,” emerging artist Lourdiz lends her fragile falsetto to create a dreamy bop. At the same time, Nicki delivers verses in her signature style, ranging from soft, Harajuku Barbie-esque delivery to edgier points that give a taste of her fan-favourite alter ego, Roman Zolanski. Despite having some catchy or memorable moments, Pink Friday 2 tends to slip into a sugary pop-R&B groove reminiscent of newer artists like Doja Cat and SZA.

Nicki Minaj collaborates with Tasha Cobbs Leonard on a Christian song, and she doesn’t hold back in giving God the praise. Nicki’s range is evident despite the seeming mismatch between bars glorifying Jesus and a BNYX rhythm. In the beautiful album Closer, “Just the Memories,” Nicki Minaj recalls the obstacles she faced as a child and reflects on how she overcame them to achieve her goals. She persisted even in the face of setbacks like the death of her fifth-grade crush or her arrest for assault with a lethal weapon. Nicki sets the record straight by declaring herself the best female rapper ever to wield a pen, and a lie detector test confirms the truth of that claim.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Are You Gone Already 4:30
2 Barbie Dangerous 2:12
3 FTCU 2:52
4 Beep Beep 1:35
5 Fallin 4 U 3:50
6 Let Me Calm Down (feat. J. Cole) 4:04
7 RNB (feat. Lil Wayne & Tate Kobang) 3:04
8 Pink Birthday 2:08
9 Needle (feat. Drake) 3:55
10 Cowgirl (feat. Lourdiz) 3:36
11 Everybody (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) 3:00
12 Big Difference 3:11
13 Red Ruby Da Sleeze 3:34
14 Forward From Trini (feat. Skillibeng & Skeng) 2:33
15 Pink Friday Girls 2:46
16 Super Freaky Girl 2:50
17 Bahm Bahm 2:21
18 My Life 2:44
19 Nicki Hendrix (feat. Future) 4:24
20 Blessings (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard) 3:34
21 Last Time I Saw You 3:36
22 Just The Memories 3:55

Album Summary

Pink Friday 2 is a decent project, but it falls short of exceeding any of Nicki Minaj’s previous works. It’s not that it lacks identity, but it seems to struggle to establish a consistent one. The album gives off more of a mixtape or compilation vibe than a cohesive Nicki Minaj album. Although there are some catchy moments, nothing about Pink Friday 2 makes it stand out from the current pop and rap music trends. Unlike its predecessor, the album fails to leave a lasting impression and will not change the hip-hop scene. Nevertheless, Pink Friday 2 is still an excellent addition to her discography, especially with the collaborators involved in the project.

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