Touchdown in Gag City

Touchdown in Gag City

December 13, 2023 in DJ Picks

by DJ Vampire Pop Singer

On Dec. 11, Nicki Minaj opened the gates and welcomed the world to the pink-gilded metropolis of Gag City. With 22 tracks and eight features, Pink Friday 2 serves as the sequel to Minaj’s majorly successful debut studio album Pink Friday, released in 2010.

Reintroducing female rap into the mainstream, Pink Friday launched Minaj into international stardom. The ingenuity of the album concept and lyricism proved that women could produce music at the same level as their male counterparts, serving as a catalyst of change for female rappers in a male-dominated space. Pink Friday broke down blockades and permanently established Minaj in hip-hop culture.

The record featured several of Minaj’s alter egos scattered throughout, such as Nicki the Harajuku Barbie, Nicki Lewinsky, and Roman Zolanski. Each character conjured by Minaj brings with them punchy lyricism, establishing a complex lore that unravels as you go deeper into Minaj’s fictional world.

Building off of this, Minaj's long-awaited fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2 features notable artists Drake, Lil Wayne, Future, J. Cole, and Lil Uzi Vert. Sampling multiple 80’s hits such as “Girls just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and “Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior, the album is a trendy and fun listen. The album’s focus feels more towards its ability to become viral versus the artistic direction behind it. Lacking the same level of ingenuity, Pink Friday 2 pales in comparison to the original.

In “Are You Gone Already”, Minaj’s samples Billie Eillish’s “when the party’s over” in an emotional tribute to her father who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2021. Producer Finneas mixes Minaj’s rapping with Eilish’s vocals, creating a listening experience that dwindles on the border of being choppy.

Minaj continues to showcase emotional depth in the track “Just the Memories”, with Minaj recounting the difficulties she encountered early in life and her career growing up in the Bronx.

She raps, “I remember when I was the girl that everybody doubted/When every label turned me down, and then they laughed about it/I remember going home and writing fifty more raps/Just 'cause I knew you really wanted me to fall back”.

“Forward from Trini” feat. Skillibeng and Skeng pay homage to Minaj’s Trinidadian heritage. Rapping on top of a playful beat, she shows Caribbean pride highlighting “Trinidad, Jamaica pop shit, Guyana, Barbados inna yuh top shit Bahamas, Saint Thomas, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Saint Kitts, Haiti, and Lagos”.

Minaj utilizes samples in tracks such as “FTCU”, and “Everybody” feat. Lil Uzi Vert and “Pink Friday Girls”. The tracks are undeniably catchy and after the success of “Super Freaky Girls” sampling Rick James's “Superfreak”, seems almost manufactured to trend on TikTok.

PF2 would not be complete without Minaj’s unmistakable humor and disses. In “FTCU”, Minaj raps “Stay in your lane, bitch, I’m not Iggy”, seemingly a jab at Megan thee Stallion, Tory Lanez, and Iggy Azalea.

Minaj continues to dominate the hip-hop industry, producing catchy and creative tracks. Although Pink Friday 2 is not as avant-garde as its earlier counterpart, it still contains tracks that deserve proper recognition.

Stay in the loop with the KVRX newsletter