Does Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday 2” Live Up to the Original?

Nicki Minaj at New York Fashion Week in 2018
Nicki Minaj at New York Fashion Week in 2018. Photo by Max Lakner/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (9871042bk)

Nicki Minaj broke onto the scene with her debut album Pink Friday, and its follow-up was a long time coming. Pink Friday 2 finally hit the shelves this week and created a lot of buzz on social media, but how does it compare to the original?

Nicki Minaj kicked off a new era for female rappers when she dropped Pink Friday in 2010 and gave us such smash hits as “Super Bass” and “Your Love”. This album propelled Minaj to worldwide fame and served as the jumping-off point for the rest of her career.

She decided to revisit the world she created with Pink Friday over a decade later, and kicked off her journey with the chart-topping hit “Super Freaky Girl”. It’s definitely one of the album’s strongest suits, but it will take quite a while to get there when you’re listening to the album in full.

With 22 tracks clocking at 70 minutes, Pink Friday 2 really has no business being that long. Minaj kept her Barbz waiting for this sequel long enough, and they’ll appreciate every song and every beat, but casual listeners will wish she wrapped things up earlier, especially since she saved some of the best tracks for the second half, including “Pink Friday Girls”, “Super Freaky Girl”, and “Last Time I Saw You”.

The album’s second biggest problem is Minaj’s heavy reliance on samples, which strip Pink Friday 2 of the originality of its predecessors. From Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” to Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over”, this record contains so many samples that it’s hard to tell where they end and Minaj’s verses begin.

Despite all its flaws, Pink Friday 2 proves that Minaj is still one of the best rappers in the game, and her verses are as sharp as ever. This sequel may not push boundaries like its original, but it’s a worthy successor to Pink Friday, and it will certainly please her hardcore fans.