Nicki Minaj is in good company. With her debut album Pink Friday bowing at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week, the Young Money rapper has officially broken the record for second highest first-week sales by a female MC in Billboard’s history, moving 375,190 units.
Lauryn Hill holds the title for highest opening week sales by a female hip-hop act with her solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which sold 423,000 copies in September 1998. But Nicki points out that Ms. Hill wasn’t categorized under the “Hip-Hop/Rap” genre.
“Pink Friday has the 2nd highest debut week in the HISTORY of FEMALE RAP w/375,190 units sold. Thank u sooo much 4 supporting this project!” tweeted Nicki, later adding, “Interesting. Lauryn sold 422,000 in the 1st wk w/Miseducation! That album wasn’t categorized as HipHop/Rap under ‘genre.’ So Pink Friday under the ‘HipHop/Rap’ genre has the highest selling first week from a female in HISTORY.”
Before Nicki, Missy Elliott sold the most first-week copies under the “Hip-Hop/Rap” genre with her 2002 album Under Construction (259,000). “I am in the company of 2 amazing groundbreaking women & for that, I am beyond grateful. S/O to Lauryn and Missy. #PinkFriday,” wrote the Harajuku Barbie.
Congrats are in order! #TeamMinaj!
Nicki Minaj may be an upstart artist, but the Lil Wayne protégé handles her business like a veteran.
For “Fly,” from her debut, Pink Friday, Minaj reached out to producer J.R. Rotem (Britney Spears, Rick Ross, Leona Lewis) to helm the track, an inspirational tune that was a last-minute addition to the album.
“Near the tail end of her project, I came into the studio and I had some tracks [for her]. That was one of the ones I was excited about,” Rotem told MTV News. “When I played it for her, she knew instantly: ‘Yes, this is the record.’ She connected with it immediately. I could just tell she was excited by it, which excited me.”
The demo version of “Fly” featured a studio session singer on the hook, but Minaj had another idea, namely Rihanna.
“That would be great,” the producer recalled telling Minaj. “But getting Rihanna to do a hook for you is easier said than done. He added, “I think that speaks to Nicki’s star power. I said, ‘Yeah, she’s definitely first choice.’ ”
Time passed, Rotem e-mailed Nicki and the two went back and forth until the rapper told him Rihanna had agreed to sing on the track.
“It took time because she was promoting her own album and traveling overseas,” he said. “It happened, and I heard it when Nicki gave me the record and it really was one of those incredible things that was really a blessing. It manifested. She said she wanted it and it happened.”
What’s your favorite Pink Friday track? Tell us in the comments!
This week is one of the biggest for new album releases in recent memory, with high-profile albums from Kanye West, My Chemical Romance, Ke$ha, Jay-Z and Justin Bieber all hitting the streets. Those albums are all coming from artists who have established followings and track records, but there is one debut coming out this week that has hip-hop fans turning their heads and raising their eyebrows. Through a series of well-received mixtapes and guest spots, Nicki Minaj has very quickly made a name for herself as a killer lyricist and a dynamic rhymer with as unique a style as we’ve seen in the rap world. Her hotly-anticipated debut album Pink Friday is out now, and it appears to be one of the most polarizing albums to hit the mainstream in a while.
Some of the critical reactions have been extremely enthusiastic. Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+ rating, and writer Brad Wete said that though Nicki has made a name for herself with wacky voices and strange characters, it’s her focus on fundamentals that really puts Pink Friday over. “Oddly enough, the accented voices and self-assured rhymes that propelled Nicki to stardom are hardly what make this a solid album,” he wrote. “It’s those moments when the eccentric wigs are off and aliases put away that the best songs are revealed. Like when she steps off of her throne, vulnerable and helpless on ‘Save Me,’ uncovering a talent she kept hidden throughout her sidekick days: She sings. Well, if I might add.”
Allison Stewart of The Washington Post agreed, noting that Minaj manages to show a surprising number of different colors on her album. She specifically calls out the quieter tunes, noting “to anyone who heard [Pink Friday’s] early, hardcore-heavy leaks, these softer, usually romantic tracks may feel like compromises, meant to reassure mainstream listeners that Minaj is a semi-proper girl with, you know, feelings, not just a piranha with a gymnastic flow.”
The Los Angeles Times found Pink Friday a little uneven but inspiring for its boldness. “Pink Friday shows Minaj is on the cusp — considering her facility with accents, she could be the perfect person to find a new patois, one that’s built of separate musical languages but without breaking any of them down,” writer Margaret Wappler observed. “Or she could get caught in the net, punished by the relentless category police or her own doubt of how far she can roam. But one thing is for certain: she’s got the fight and the imagination on her side — and a good neon wig never hurt a girl either.”
In fact, even the negative reviews gave Minaj props for experimenting. Associated Press writer Mesfin Fekadu got a little tired of all of Minaj’s boasting but was inspired whenever she switched it up. “When Minaj is not caught up with being No. 1, she shines,” Fekadu wrote. “On ‘Save Me,’ she strips down and presents a more humble side of herself. The Drake-assisted ‘Moment 4 Life’ has Minaj excited about her accomplishments — and cherishing her winning moment. As she should be.” And Marc Hogan from Spin is a little disappointed by Pink Friday but is still glad Nicki Minaj exists. “As an MC showcase, the album falls short, with no verses as memorable as those she dropped for Robin Thicke, Usher, Trey Songz, Ludacris or Mariah Carey,” he wrote in his review. “But this self-styled Harajuku Barbie certainly can compete with the big boys, and she doesn’t let anyone forget it.”
What do you think of Nicki Minaj’s new album? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t miss the documentary “Nicki Minaj: My Time Now,” premiering Sunday, November 28, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!
Pink Friday Diaries: “Did it on’em”: This track follows Roman’s Revenge on the album and is a ball of cocky arrogant diva bitchy insanity! Sometimes u just wanna “SHIT on’em” lol. This arrogance comes only when u mix the cute ghetto girl with the queen of England. Lol. Preorder Pink Friday on iTunes.
Pink Friday Diaries: FLY is one of my absolute faves. I wanted to work with Rihanna for a long time. I’m very proud of her accomplishments ; especially since she was born on an island like me :). This song is a female empowerment song. But then again, its not specific to just women. It speaks about flying, soaring high… in the face of every single solitary adversity that comes your way. I speak about how the media has attempted to box me in and how that has made me feel suffocated. After years of being dragged thru the mud, I’ve mustered up the courage to re-define myself. I believe that I represent an entire generation. My fans have become my family ; and together we have become a movement. Get ready for it. We came to win. Pink Friday – iTunes Preorder Available Now.
Pink Friday Diaries: Save Me : This song feels like a soundtrack to a movie. It paints a vivid picture of a girl who has it all but still feels very much alone. She’s turned into a monster and pushed the one person who truly loved her away. She drives hundreds of miles, falls to her face sobbing, and begs him to save her. Preorder Pink Friday on iTunes now.
1. “I’m the Best”
2. “Roman’s Revenge” feat. Eminem
3. “Did It On’em”
4. “Right Thru Me”
5. “Fly” feat. Rihanna
6. “Save Me”
7. “Moment 4 Life” feat. Drake
8. “Check It Out” feat. will.i.am
9. “Blazin’” feat. Kanye West
10. “Here I Am”
11. “Dear Old Nicki”
12. “Your Love”
13. “Last Chance” feat. Natasha Bedingfield
Pink Friday Diaries kicks off today. A daily song by song countdown:
“I’m the best” is the intro to my album. It chronicles my journey from underground rapper to border-line mainstream artist. It speaks about the doubters in my life and it speaks about overcoming every challenge I was ever faced with. It’s a toast to t…he girls who’ve gone hard. Who’ve been told they’d never make it. It’s also the only song where I speak about my family and childhood. Though hard to speak about at times, it’s necessary for my healing process. #itsPinkFridayHoe 😉 Preorder now on iTunes.
Here is the official tracklisting for “Pink Friday” the Deluxe Edition which is now available for pre-order on iTunes. There you can also order the newly release track which has been extremely hyped about, “Roman’s Revenge” featuring Eminem from “Pink Friday”.
Roman Zolanski is about to meet Slim Shady. The alter-egos of rap’s most formidable forces will go head-to-head on a track for Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday.
Rap-Up.com has exclusively learned that Young Money’s First Lady and Eminem have recorded a song called “Roman’s Revenge,” which will be included on Nicki’s debut album, due November 22.
Fans can expect more heavy-hitters on the highly-anticipated project, in addition to Em, who trades bars with Nicki’s colorful alter-ego Roman. During a Ustream session earlier this week, she revealed that Drake would also make an appearance on the album, calling their collaboration one of her favorites.
Pink Friday has already spawned the singles “Your Love,” “Right Thru Me,” and “Check It Out” with will.i.am. Find out what other songs made the final cut when the tracklisting hits iTunes this weekend.
Nicki Minaj is on a bit of a blitz leading up to the November 22 release of her highly anticipated debut album Pink Friday, releasing her album cover artwork, and now, the video for “Right Thru Me.”
The same week as her album release, Nicki Minaj will be performing at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on November 25, 2010, days after Pink Friday hits stores. (As she announced tonight on 106th & Park)