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MUSIC REVIEW: Nicki Minaj takes FTC to Gag City with Pink Friday 2

The rapper released her highly anticipated 5th studio album on her 41st birthday, December 8th. 

By Erick Diaz

After five years and many delays, Nicki Minaj released her fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, a sequel to her groundbreaking debut album Pink Friday (2010). The album features 22 tracks, including her historic #1 hit Super Freaky Girl,as well as Red Ruby Da Sleeze, and Last Time I Saw You, as well as guest appearances from Future, Lourdiz, Skillibeng, Skeng, J Cole, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and her Young Money brothers Drake and Lil Wayne.  

Nicki announced the second delay back in October 2023, shifting the date from November 17th to December 8th. Many fans were disappointed at the fact that they would have to wait three extra weeks to listen to her album. I was one of those fans who expressed frustration and called her out for making fun of our frustrations. Nicki had some special words for me:  

Pink Friday 2 provides listeners with a variety of genres from Rap to R&B, Pop, and Dancehall. Tracks like Barbie Dangerous, Big Differenceand Red Ruby Da Sleeze show Minaj’s abilities to rap, flow changes, and deliver clever and disrespectful bars that only Nicki Minaj would get away with. While tracks like Let Me Calm Down (feat. J Cole), and Last Time I Saw You, gives us a more vulnerable Nicki talking about marriage, the loss of her dad, and figuring out being a mom, a side of Minaj we have not seen since her highly acclaimed The Pinkprint in 2014.    

The album pays homage to the original 2010 LP on Pink Friday Girls, a pop/rap banger that samples Cyndi Lauper’s smash hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Nicki uses similar cadences and flows she used on her 2011 global hit, Super Bass,the result is a fun twist to the 80s classic. On My Life, Minaj raps “they tried to play me, but I {expletive} on em first,” a nod to Pink Friday’s track, Did It On Em. 

Minaj reunites with Drake after nearly 12 years since their last duet, Make Me Proud, on Needle, a dancehall summer song where they remind us of their amazing chemistry.  

Though Needle is the perfect summer bop we’ve all been waiting for, it is nowhere near 2010’s classic Moment 4 Life. The triumphant feeling of that song and the hunger of topping the rap game is simply unmatched, which created the Grammy-nominated worldwide hit. When I expressed my opinion on the best “Dricki” collaboration, Minaj once again responded to me: 


Lil Wayne also appears on the album alongside Grammy winning artist Tate Kobang on RNB, where Minaj feels sexually liberated and commands strong verses, while Lil Wayne feels unnecessary on the track. On FTCU, Minaj delivers a heavy rap performance while including her alter ego “Harajuku Barbie” on the second verse, resulting in an animated and fun verse reminiscing of her 2012 hit, Beez In The Trap. Another standout collaboration on the album is Everybody with Lil Uzi Vert sampling the 2002 hit Move Your Feet. Minaj and Uzi provide a jersey club banger that has quickly rose on TikTok with thousands of videos on the platform 

Billie Eilish appears uncredited on the intro, Are You Gone Already, a sample of Eilish’s When the Party’s Over, a song where it feels like Onika is speaking rather than Nicki Minaj. The song starts with her son’s vocals, affectionally called “Papa Bear,” and Minaj proceeds to narrate her feelings during her dad’s final hours, who was killed on a hit-and-run in Long Island back in 2021, while providing heartfelt messages to her son. The album closes with Just the Memories, where Onika reflects on her rise and talks about her gains and losses in the industry. The track feels like the perfect closure to the most anticipated album of the year.  

Though cutting some tracks down and having a better order on the track listing would have made it a stronger project, Pink Friday 2 feels like all of Nicki Minaj’s projects combined and mastered into one album that will remind you of why we felt in love with her back in 2010. The album broke the record for biggest debut day on Spotify for a female rap album with 28.2 million streams while Minaj saw the biggest day for a female rapper on the platform’s history collecting 41 million streams across all credits. The album debuted atop of the Billboard 200 chart, making Nicki the first female rapper to score three number one albums in history.

It is a bit too early to rank the album on her discography, but it is safe to say that Nicki Minaj is still reigning nearly 14 years after her debut, as the lyricism, production and cleverness remains unmatched.  


BEST TRACKS: Fallin 4 U, FTCUBig Difference, Red Ruby Da Sleeze, and My Life. 

WORST TRACK: Beep Beep. 


BONUS:  Erick Diaz talks Nicki Minaj on the Winter Lab Radio Show.



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