After many delays and anxious anticipation from fans all around the world, five years after Minaj’s last studio album, Nicki Minaj’s fifth studio album, “Pink Friday 2,” has finally been released.
Since announcing that the album’s title was going to be called “Pink Friday 2” it was immediately noticeable that this album was going to be a continuation or a sequel if you will, of her debut album, “Pink Friday.” I can definitely understand and see why Minaj decided to name this album that title because it does feel that way. Whether it is with the pink inspired imagery for the album, or similar sounds to the debut, it definitely feels like a sequel to that album. However, it does not feel as aggressive or as much of a gut punch, as that album had at times. Instead, it feels like Minaj has fully come into herself and has reached a place of content that has not be seen in her previous work.
This album feels like the first one in her career where she does not have to prove anything to anyone anymore. She sounds so much more relaxed on this album than she has on her past albums. It can definitely be credited to the major life changes Minaj has gone through the past five years, getting married, having a child and losing her father, are all narratives on songs throughout this album
The first track features a surprising sample of “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish, which shocked me when I pressed play on the album for the first time. I was not expecting that but, the sample goes unbelievably hard and triggers an emotional and vulnerable side of Minaj that nicely opens up the album.
The album features a lot of samples which I do enjoy, but I do not think all were necessary. My favorite samples were for the tracks “Pink Friday Girls, which samples “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “Everybody (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) which samples “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior, and “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” which samples “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)” by Lumidee.
One sample I did not like was on the track “My Life” where Minaj samples “Heart of Glass” by Blondie. I think that that sample was not necessary at all because it does not blend well with the production and I feel the song would’ve sounded better without it.
The thing that is so special about Minaj is that her versatility knows no bounds. The different sounds, flows, cadences and genres on this album show that she knows what works for her, but is not afraid to do something different.
With an album that has 22 tracks on it, it is definitely easy for someone listening to get tired of the album or not even listen to all of the songs, but I never felt this way with this album. Even though there are some songs that I may not like as much as I do the rest, I never got bored or felt like the album was dragging in anyway.
Nicki did a great job of making the album still interesting, and many times listening to it, I did not even realize how far into the album I have made it and how much time has gone by.
Throughout all the complex and hard rap flows Minaj does so well on this album, her more relaxed persona comes through. If anything this album shows Minaj’s maturity levels. Her rap skills on tracks “FTCU”, “Let Me Calm Down (feat. J. Cole)” and “Big Difference” are masterclasses in the genre.
Something I personally love from Minaj’s work is the way she can perfectly blend pop and rap and that is proven again on this album. Two of my favorites on the album, “Pink Friday Girls” and “Cowgirl (feat. Lourdiz)” are reminiscent of the same bubblegum-esque, witty Nicki we heard on “Super Bass” from her debut album “Pink Friday”.
On album closer, “Just The Memories”, Minaj discusses the struggles she has been through in her life and how she has made it through. She also talks about when she was younger and she was arrested.
“I ‘member when I was the girl that everbody doubted / When every label turned me down, and then they laughed about it / I ‘member goin’ home and writin’ fifty more raps.”
Something Minaj has always done well since the beginning of her career is show her personality throughout her music. Whether it is her truthful lyrics or her expressive way of rapping, I feel like I know a lot about Minaj and who she is, without ever meeting her. I am so glad that this album is finally out and I am able to get a new look into who Minaj is now.