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Album Review: Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday 2

3 min read

Pink Friday 2 is the latest release from rapper and singer Nicki Minaj. Released as a sequel to her 2010 debut Pink Friday, the 22 track blockbuster has a back-to-basics appeal. While nostalgic for earlier releases, the record also relies heavily on sampling to bring a fresh approach.

Initial track Are You Gone Already samples Billie Eilish single “when the party’s over”. The slow track begins by telling the story of her father, who tragically died in a hit and run incident in 2021. Nicki stands between her son and late father, referencing motherhood and the need for forgiveness. The emotional sentiment is accompanied by haunting vocals from Billie Eilish.

Throughout the album we hear references to the artist’s Barbie-inspired alter-ego. The hyperreal, all-things-pink portrayal embodies empowerment and femininity. In Barbie Dangerous, Minaj asserts her power with signature flair: Barbie dangerous / Weak bitches don’t endanger us / You are over, you ain’t in range of us.

FTCU is an unapologetic track with a call to ‘F*ck this club up’. Minaj delivers bars over a smart instrumental with animated flow. The lyrics are boastful, no nonsense, and feature clever imagery: Yeah, high heels on my tippies / Dolce and Gabbana, that’s on my titties / Cop me Vetements when I ride the dickie / I still got the juice, bitch, buy a sippie.

The artist switches gear in Fallin 4 U to express a romantic attachment that she initially resisted. She reflects on her own confidence and assertiveness as well as her difficulty in navigating love and relationships. The track’s musical themes mirror this conflict – harsher beats and lyrical prowess meet swooning vocals and an electric fiddle.

In Forward From Trini, the artist embraces her Caribbean roots with dancehall artists Skillibeng and Skeng. Minaj lists the various places where she has influence and references Caribbean lifestyle and culture. Uplifting Soca sounds, chants and riddims make for a well-produced dancehall banger.

Red Ruby da Sleeze samples “Never Leave You (Uh Ooh, Uh Ooh)” by Lumidee and features a music video shot in Trinidad. The artist demonstrates her talent as a lyricist, effectively using the Red Ruby metaphor to emphasize her different traits: Red ruby on my lips, yeah I’m kissin’ / Red ruby on my tongue, yeah I’m spittin’ / Red ruby on my eyes, yeah I’m vision’ / Red ruby on my mind, yeah I’m winnin’.

Many of the tracks on the album feature samples from well known classics. The “Heart Of Glass” sample in My Life is a creative re-imagining featuring a unique beat matched by the artist’s dynamite flow. Everybody with Lil Uzi Vert features samples from “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior which make for an exciting listen. The “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” sample in Pink Friday Girls, however, feels uninspired.

Pink Friday 2 is a lively album featuring impressive songwriting and production. At times it showcases Minaj’ unique talent for flow and delivery. Unfortunately, the inclusion of filler tracks that feel underdeveloped or impersonal lead us to question why this release is the sequel to her highly influential debut.