The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Barb is Back

Nicki Minaj released “Pink Friday 2” on Dec 8 and it was met with mixed reviews.
Image via Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records

 The Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj, has risen from her five-year album hiatus, releasing “Pink Friday 2” on Dec 8 as the long-anticipated sequel to her debut album “Pink Friday”, which gave us some of the most iconic songs of the 2010s. Songs such as “Super Bass,” “Starships” and “Moment 4 Life” stay engraved word-for-word into many die-hard Nicki fans (also known as Barbs) minds. “Pink Friday 2” had a lot to live up to as the official sequel to this iconic album, but unfortunately failed to achieve the standard set by its original sister album.

I was very hopeful that with this album Nicki would bring back her iconic hit-worthy beats with methodically written out lyrics, but a majority of the time I was left unsatisfied. Nicki’s rapping is done timelessly well, very lyrical with each line having great chemistry, but it seems as though her reliance on the sampling and underwhelming backing tracks tarnish the songs and show a lack of creativity. 

Her opening song “Are You Gone Already” samples “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish. It was essentially a remix and sped-up version with a rap verse here and there which led to my very first impression of the album to be very disheartening considering the fact that I wanted to skip the very first song. The fact that the first song on the album wasn’t purely from Nicki’s mind made it an uncomfortable listen, given that listeners are used to her genius and original lyrics.

Sampling like this is seen in her songs “Everybody”–Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet” “My Life”–Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, “Pink Friday Girls”–Cydni Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, and many more. Nine out of the twenty-two songs on this album rely on the feet of pre-produced hits, which shy away and create a physical disconnect with the true embodiment of Nicki’s music, which is a creative and animated rap sound.

Many of the songs on this album fall short of the traditional Nicki style, but songs like “Beep Beep”, “Fallin 4 U”, and “Pink Birthday” are the most notable that stands true to its sister album’s aesthetic. Infused with catchy verses, 2000s pop and dance-worthy beats, these songs left me yearning for more of that old-time Nicki feel. By listening to these songs, day-one Barbs can truly reminisce about Nicki in her truest form as shown in “Pink Friday.”

Skip-worthy songs that were ultimately a bore to listen to were songs like “Bahm Bahm” and “My Life” which possess very similar beats that don’t make you want to keep listening since they are played back-to-back. “Cowgirl (feat. Lourdiz)” was also very underwhelming due to its repetitive nature. 

 My favorite songs on the album, “Last Time I Saw You” and “Just the Memories,” show a deeper side of Nicki that fans aren’t usually exposed to. She takes a step back from her rapping and softens up the end of this album with a slower melody with continuous relaxing lo-fi-pop beats which was a great refreshing touch to wrap the album up with. These songs capture a feeling of loss and the rebuilding of oneself after hardship, which I think is an amazing touch to add to this fast-paced album.  

Another stand-out song was Pink Friday’s ninth track “Needle (feat. Drake)”. This gave off a nostalgic feel with the use of Drake’s voice offering a creative touch that I found quite unique. Track twelve “Big Difference” also served us the savage Nicki verses that Barbs’ know and love.

Pink Friday 2 gave the Barbs merely a glimpse into the old Nicki from Pink Friday that we expected to see more of. The growth of her music shown through some of her questionable songs leaves you wondering what sort of stage Nicki is trying to set for future releases to come. 


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About the Contributor
Luca Artiga
Luca Artiga, Staff Writer
Hi! i’m Luca and this my 2nd year writing for High Tide! I love concerts, hanging out with my friends, and any & all interesting things happening that don’t have to do with me! I'm ready for my 2nd year full of life, laughs, and loves!

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