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Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday 2

Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday 2
Release date
December 08 2023
Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday 2
December 08 2023 | Hip-Hop

Pink Friday 2 is the fifth studio album by rapper Nicki Minaj, released on December 8, 2023, by Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records. A sequel to Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday (2010), it is her first studio album in five years following the release of Queen (2018). The album ranges across various genres while major themes of the project include Trini and Caribbean pride, reflections on Minaj’s life, and her dominance in the rap industry. The collaborations on the album include J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Tate Kobang, Drake, Lourdiz, Lil Uzi Vert, Skillibeng, Skeng, Future, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, 50 Cent, Monica, and Keyshia Cole.

Upon its release, Pink Friday 2 received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the artistic growth shown but felt it did not live up to Pink Friday. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Minaj the first female rapper to have three number-one albums in the country. It earned 228,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, with 92,000 coming from pure album sales, and achieved the largest vinyl sales week by a female rapper in history. Internationally, the album peaked in the top ten in countries such as Australia, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Pink Friday 2 was supported by two singles, “Super Freaky Girl” and “Last Time I Saw You”, the former of which marked Minaj’s first solo number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Two promotional singles, “Red Ruby da Sleeze” and “Bahm Bahm”, were released prior to the album. To promote the album, Minaj will embark on the Pink Friday 2 World Tour in March 2024.

Background and recording
On June 28, 2019, Minaj appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in promotion of her single “Megatron” in which she stated: “well, there’s definitely a new album, of course”; however, she continued to note that there was no official release date at the time: “with this one, I don’t have a name yet”. In September 2019, Minaj announced her retirement from hip hop; however, she later withdrew her statement and apologized for her false announcement. In an interview with Elle, on September 17, 2019, Minaj stated that the album would be, “fierce, fun, and unapologetic” and spoke about the project’s ultimate sound.
It’s probably the most excited I’ve been about an album release in a really long time. I’m happy that we’re not making my fans wait for another album like I’ve done in the past. This one incorporates all the things people love about Nicki, but it also just has a way bigger sound, so it goes perfectly with the collection.

The first teaser of the album was on June 29, 2020, after Minaj had taken to Twitter to tweet, “PF2″, the initials of the album. In May 2023, she teased that the album “is the best thing that will come out of 2023 & will raise the bar to new & unreachable heights”, and that its accompanying tour “will be hailed as ‘genius.’ That’s it & that’s all.”

Release and promotion
On June 5, 2023, Minaj initially announced the release date of the album to be October 20, 2023. On June 29, she officially announced the title of the album as Pink Friday 2 and that the release date was pushed back to November 17. She also stated that the album would be “well worth the wait”, and followed up by a concert tour in 2024. On September 4, Minaj shared one of two official cover arts for the album, depicting the rapper in an all-white ensemble traveling on a roofless subway floating above pink clouds. On October 6, she shared the second album cover, which depicted her in an all-pink gown revealing her midriff and surrounded by a billowing pink satin sheet in front of a black background. On October 25, Minaj announced that the album’s release date was postponed to her birthday on December 8, 2023.

Upon release, Pink Friday 2 was made available for digital download and streaming as a 22-track album. It was also available in a variety of physical versions, consisting of four vinyl editions, including three retailer-exclusive versions each with different covers, as well as two CDs, one standard and one signed. The physical versions only included 10 tracks, which was theorized to be because the remainder were not finished in time for pressing and release. On December 11, a digital deluxe edition of the album was released through Minaj’s webstore, featuring an exclusive remix of “Beep Beep” with 50 Cent. On December 13, a second digital deluxe edition was released through her webstore, featuring the exclusive track “Love Me Enough” featuring Keyshia Cole and Monica.

“Super Freaky Girl” was released as the lead single from the album on August 12, 2022. Its music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, was uploaded onto Minaj’s YouTube account on September 1. The song debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. With this, Minaj became the first solo female rapper to debut at the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998 and the first female rapper to debut a solo song at number one in the 21st century.

“Last Time I Saw You” was released as the album’s second single on September 1, 2023. The song peaked at number 23 on the Hot 100 and at number six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On September 12, Minaj performed “Last Time I Saw You” at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, where she also debuted a new track from the album entitled “Big Difference” as a surprise.

Promotional singles
On March 3, 2023, Minaj released the promotional single “Red Ruby da Sleeze”, which she described as her “street record” before her “next official single”. The song peaked at number 13 on the Hot 100 and at number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On October 13, Minaj released the track “Bahm Bahm” on her website, describing it as a scrapped outtake, though it was later included on the album. On December 11, she released a remix of “Beep Beep” featuring 50 Cent as a bonus track on an exclusive digital version of the album on her website; the song was made available to streaming platforms a day later.

Pink Friday 2 was met with generally positive and favorable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 70, based on twelve reviews. Robin Murray of Clash called Pink Friday 2 “a record of real ambition, an example mirroring fan-pleasing tendencies with actual artistic growth” as it “match ultra-colourful pop to moments of sombre introspection”. NME’s Nick Levine opined that while it is “probably too long, Minaj paces it sharply” and concluded that it “feels like a consolidation and refinement of everything Minaj can do”. Alexis Petridis of The Guardian stated that “it may be as imperfect as Pink Friday was, but Pink Friday 2 offers more than enough supporting evidence to make sound like anything but hollow boasts”.

The Evening Standard’s David Smyth described the album as “an expansion of what she can do rather than a complete about turn. While she never transitions into the many-voiced rap monster who was such a blast in her early days, anyone hoping to hear her putting her rivals in their place will find plenty of great lines”. Nadine Smith of The Independent criticized Minaj’s use of samples and commented that the album “shows flashes of the inventive brilliance that made Nicki such an undeniable superstar, but like so many legacy sequels, it mostly just makes you wish you were listening to the original”.

Commercial performance
In the United States, Pink Friday 2 achieved 90.8 million streams in its first three days, with the album tracks “Everybody” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and “Are You Gone Already” gaining early traction. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Minaj’s third number-one album in the country after Pink Friday (2010) and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). With this, Minaj broke out of a tie with Foxy Brown to become the female rapper with the most number-one albums. She also became the first female rap artist with number-one albums in two decades (2010s and 2020s), and achieved her seventh top-ten album. Pink Friday 2 earned 228,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, of which 92,000 came from pure album sales, becoming the largest week in overall units as well as in pure sales for a female rap album in the 2020s and a female R&B/hip-hop album in 2023. The album sold 25,000 copies on vinyl, earning the largest vinyl sales week for a female rap album in history. It also achieved 169.87 million streams in its first week, garnering the largest streaming week ever for Minaj, for a female rap album in the 2020s, and a female R&B/hip-hop album in 2023. Upon its release, 14 songs from the album debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, of which two entered the top 40—”Everybody” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and “Needle” featuring Drake.

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