Barbz everywhere rejoiced as Nicki Minaj, the Vogue proclaimed Queen of Rap, unleashed a pink tidal wave in the rap scene with her newest album “Pink Friday 2.” The album is named as a sequel to her 2010 debut album “Pink Friday” and takes on the nostalgia of the past with a fresher sound. The album was released Dec. 8, the rapper’s birthday, which gave me relief that the long-awaited album is finally here.
The album opens with “Are You Gone Already,” an emotional rap dedicated to her late father who died in 2021. The song mentions how her father never got to meet her son with the lyrics, “You never got to meet Papa/ He sweet proper” and samples the Billie Eilish song “When the Party’s Over.” The album has plenty more emotional songs such as “Just the Memories” and “Last Time I Saw You.” I appreciate these songs as they show Minaj’s ability to not just deliver hits but also to tell stories.
While “Pink Friday 2” is emotional, it has a variety of club hits. For instance, “Everybody” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and “Super Freaky Girl.” Minajexcels when she has fun, and these songs are proof of it. I expect “Everybody” to go viral very soon with its take on the current Jersey Remix trend on TikTok. Another song that I found myself dancing to was the song “Needle,” a collaboration with fellow rapper Drake.
The album showcases Minaj once again proving herself as a lethal lyricist. With her songs “Barbie Dangerous” and “Big Difference” Minaj runs laps around her competition as she spits playful diss lines. On “Big Difference” Minaj raps “We are not the same, you my opposite/I am the queen, you my opp and sh*t.” I love when Minaj solidifies the fact that she is better than her competition, because well…it’s true. I also applaud the transitions within the album, as every song leads to another. It makes “Pink Friday 2” seem like something she really put work into, rather than something put together at the last minute. However, Minaj does sing a lot in this album. I firmly believe that Minaj should do less ballads and focus on her talent in rapping which leads me to one of the downsides to the album.
When I think of Nicki Minaj, I think of a rapper. I understand that she is a talented singer, but I don’t think she should have songs where she sings the majority of them. For instance with “Pink Birthday,” I felt like the song might have been unnecessary due to her only singing the whole track. I want to hear songs that make her different from other pop stars, not like them. Another small issue I have with Pink Friday 2, is the amount of tracks. The album has 22 songs with a run time of 1 hour and 10 minutes. Due to this, some songs feel like they are a little rushed and therefore should not have been on an otherwise stellar album run. Songs like “Nicki Hendrix” and “RNB” should have been released as B sides, not on the original album.
Despite the album feeling a little bloated, I find the 22 tracks to be a decent gesture as her last album was released in 2018. It also helps me appreciate those songs which are perfect. With my favorite song “Fallin 4 U,” I see Minaj being more aggressive while keeping the pop elements of the original “Pink Friday.” Also the Cyndi Lauper inspired “Pink Friday Girls” song feels like a call back to her 2011 hit “Super Bass.” In “Pink Friday 2” I see the rapper shine when she combines pop and rap, but I also see someone who has grown as an artist.
Overall, “Pink Friday 2” is an amazing album from Minaj. As a Barb, I have waited far too long for a full album release, and now understand why she took so long. Perfection takes time, but maybe give us a warning of how long it might take next time!