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Pink Friday 2: Nicki Minaj's Queen of Rap Title Is Still In Dispute


With over 15 years in the rap game and five years dedicated to crafting this album, Nicki's message boils down to asserting her perceived supremacy and embarking on a chart-chasing journey in her 40s. Despite attempts to inject sentimentality into the tracks, as I mentioned earlier, they fell flat or felt incomplete. Nicki seems most in her element when throwing shade and claiming that others imitate her style. Much like her counterpart, Drake, Nicki appears content and stuck in a comfortable loop. However, it was this complacency that caused the crown to slip off her head and break into pieces for other girls to pick up. With PF2, Nicki certainly didn't put the crown back together again. In a landscape where artists like Lola Brookes deliver albums rich in variety, maturity, and vulnerability with fewer tracks, Nicki should be concerned about losing even the fragment of the crown she still holds.


As the world commemorates 50 years of Hip-Hop, the culture finds itself at a unique intersection with Nicki Minaj, who celebrated her 41st birthday on December 8th by releasing her fifth studio album, 'Pink Friday 2.' In an industry where staying relevant can be as challenging as deciphering Billboard's bundle rules, Nicki Minaj continues to command attention—a testament to her enduring influence, even if her dominance doesn't quite mirror her past.


So, when approaching "Pink Friday 2," I couldn't dismiss it as just another nostalgic endeavor from a veteran. This is the "greatest album of ALL TIME," according to Nicki herself. PF2 should be Nicki Minaj "standing on business" musically, adding another chapter to her ever-evolving legacy. So before pressing play, there were two nagging questions: What does a 41-year-old Nicki Minaj have to say that she hasn't already tweeted? And, most importantly, will 'Pink Friday 2' finally solidify her claim as the undisputed Queen of Rap?


 





 

SEQUELS & ROLLOUTS

History and pop culture have repeatedly shown that there are few good sequels. From classic films to beloved albums, the shadow of the original often looms too large, making it nearly impossible to recapture the original's magic.


However, Nicki Minaj decided to say, "Fck all that," when she named her fifth studio album 'Pink Friday 2,' completing her Pink Friday trilogy.


Nicki Minaj, known for her love-hate relationship with her pop persona, boldly tweeted that 'Pink Friday 2' would be the best album she ever put out, seemingly unconcerned about the inevitable comparisons with 'Pink Friday.' Her claim transcended standard album promo—it was a daring attempt to make people believe that she had caught lightning in a bottle not once but twice. She aimed to reignite the emotions and excitement of 2010 when fans first experienced 'Pink Friday.'


Nicki Minaj, known for her love-hate relationship with her pop persona, boldly tweeted that 'Pink Friday 2' would be the best album she ever put out, seemingly unconcerned about the inevitable comparisons with 'Pink Friday.' Her claim transcended standard album promo—it was a daring attempt to make people believe that she had caught lightning in a bottle not once but twice. She aimed to reignite the emotions and excitement of 2010 when fans first experienced 'Pink Friday.'

It's one thing to rely on nostalgia; it's another to try to compete with it.


Amidst the whirlwind of anticipation fueled by her tweets, Nicki's two-month solo rollout significantly molded public perception of what this album would be. She inadvertently set herself up and undercut the album's potential before it even had a chance to stand on its own merits.


Luckily for Nicki, I did not expect her to shift the culture again. Instead, I went in knowing there were few good sequels, and after listening to Pink Friday 2, history was proven right again. Nicki Minaj's ambitious attempt to surpass its groundbreaking predecessor fell short. Similar to her fourth studio album, 'Queen,' this sequel lacks a clear direction, a compelling story, and genuine emotions.


WHERE IS NICKI MINAJ'S QUINCY JONES?

'Pink Friday 2' disappoints right from the start on the intro track "Are You Gone Already," which samples Billie Eilish's 2019 song "when the party's over." On paper, this song had the potential to be a standout, particularly in its attempt at vulnerability. However, the execution is lackluster, feeling more like a performative response to criticisms of Nicki Minaj's being so closed off than a genuine expression of pain or sadness. Despite addressing the recent loss of her father to a 2021 hit-and-run, all the emotion seems reserved for Billie Eilish's sample, leaving Nicki Minaj as a bystander in her own grief.


Discovering she wrote the second verse just days before the album's release further explains why the song feels like an incomplete thought. It reveals a facet of Nicki Minaj's creative process—one that contradicts her self-proclaimed perfectionism. Instead, Nicki Minaj is a procrastinator who attempts to hide her writer's block behind the word "perfectionist." That is why she got bodied by a sample.


This emotional void extends to 'Blessings,' featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard. Nicki Minaj singing about GOD while being a heathen on social media did send me to GAG CITY. But, putting her behavior to the side, this track feels out of place and lyrically too shallow to make people feel anything. This song just feels like another check-the-box moment on the album, so Nicki can say she rap'd about other things besides her opps.


Beyond incomplete tracks and misaligned tones, the album could have benefited from a ruthless edit. "Pink Birthday," "Nicki Hendrix," and "Just The Memories" should have met the cutting room floor. Additionally, Nicki needed someone to tell her to choose between "Red Ruby Sleeze," "Super Freaky Girl," and "Pink Friday Girls," as sonically, they are too repetitive, especially with their proximity in the album's sequencing.


This may sound harsh, but I could make a case that every song after #11, minus 'Bahm, Bahm' and 'My Life," could have been scrapped. That doesn't make PF2 a classic or better than "Pink Friday," but I think it leaves you with a nice variety from Nicki Minaj to please her diverse fanbase.


Nicki Minaj Needs an Executive Producer Like Quincy Jones To Work On Her Albums. Pink Friday 2 Review


While "Pink Friday 2" is a listening marathon packed with an overwhelming 22 tracks, spanning over an hour of runtime. There are some OK tracks on this album, especially in regard to production.

Nicki Minaj's collab with J. Cole, "Let Me Calm Down," is probably my fave track sonically. I just love the sound. But, I must admit, since the song was about relationships, I would have preferred Drake to hop on that track. Dricki could've addressed why they are always falling out with each other. That would have had people streaming like crazy and been more intriguing than "Needles," which unfortunately feels like an advertisement for Drake's album.


"Cowgirl" with Lourdiz is cute and very Doja Cat-coded. Given Doja's past mimicry of Nicki, this feels like a playful turnabout - watch your neck Agora Hills. "Everybody" with Lil Uzi Vert seems to have the highest probability of finding chart and TikTok success due to its similarity to his hit "I Wanna Rock" and an already existing dance. The song is pure fun, but the Lil Uzi feature feels unnecessary.


With the bloatedness of this project and missed opportunities with good song ideas, this is where it becomes oh so evident that "Pink Friday 2" lacked a Quincy Jones-esque figure—an experienced executive producer capable of understanding expectations and ensuring every song feels complete and evokes Nicki's intended emotion. My fear is that Nicki may have appointed herself to this role.


LET'S TALK FEATURES

Let's dig into the features real quick. Nicki's choices make me think she's still blackballed. Why is she addicted to collaborating with the same men? I'm not one of those people pushing for her to work with other women, as we know Nicki can't play nice. But are Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi, Future, and Drake the only male rap stars willing to work with Nicki consistently?


Let's be honest about Nicki's male rapper friends: Lil Wayne, known for killing features, gave her one of his most lackluster verses this year; Lil Uzi was a bit of a mess; Future mumbled through his verse, and Drake seemingly handed her a leftover song. It's interesting how these men get a free pass to play on Nicki's top, but it's treated like disrespect if a female artist asks for a feature.

Let's be honest about Nicki's male rapper friends: Lil Wayne, known for killing features, gave her one of his most lackluster verses this year; Lil Uzi was a bit of a mess; Future mumbled through his verse, and Drake seemingly handed her a leftover song. It's interesting how these men get a free pass to play on Nicki's top, but it's treated like disrespect if a female artist asks for a feature.


 




 

NOTHING & NO

So, going back to my nagging questions: What does a 41-year-old Nicki Minaj have to say, and does 'Pink Friday 2' solidify her as the undisputed Queen of Rap?


The resounding answer? Nothing and No.


With over 15 years in the rap game and five years dedicated to crafting this album, Nicki's message boils down to asserting her perceived supremacy and embarking on a chart-chasing journey in her 40s. Despite attempts to inject sentimentality into the tracks, as I mentioned earlier, they fell flat or felt incomplete. Nicki seems most in her element when throwing shade and claiming that others imitate her style. Much like her counterpart, Drake, Nicki appears content and stuck in a comfortable loop. However, it was this complacency that caused the crown to slip off her head and break into pieces for other girls to pick up. With PF2, Nicki certainly didn't put the crown back together again. In a landscape where artists like Lola Brookes deliver albums rich in variety, maturity, and vulnerability with fewer tracks, Nicki should be concerned about losing even the fragment of the crown she still holds.


 

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