Pink has turned platinum. Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday, has been certified platinum after shipping 1 million units in the U.S. since it dropped on November 22. According to the RIAA, it received the certification on December 17, less than one month after its release.
“Pink Friday remains the #2 Rap Album and the #4 Album in the country on Billboard’s 200. Thank you for your continued support,” wrote Nicki on Twitter after her album moved up from No. 8 to 4 on this week’s Billboard 200.
Additionally, her collabo with Trey Songz, “Bottoms Up,” crosses the double-platinum threshold this week. “And to top it all off, ‘Bottoms Up’ is double platinum. S/O 2 @TreySongz who woulda thought… *sings* all around the wooorld do ya hear me?” said the Harajuku Barbie.
Throughout the year, one of the biggest question marks was Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pink Friday.’ Her debut album had tons of buzz, but many questioned how a hip-hop record by a female would sell in this day and age. Would Nicki be able to steer her own ship to the big numbers demanded by record executives and expected by fans? Well, the answer is a resounding “yes” as ‘Pink Friday’ has gone gold and even outsold Kanye West’s monstrous ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ over the past week.
‘Pink Friday,’ which was officially released three weeks ago, pushed past 500,000 units by moving an additional 81,900 in the past week. With these steady sales numbers, the collection held down the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and beat Kanye’s weekly numbers by approximately 16,000 copies.
Minaj hasn’t been shy about the fact that her record outsold all female hip-hop artists other than Lauryn Hill in its first week, but sustained sales are what go beyond the hype and show if the public is truly connecting to the music beyond the usual first-week marketing.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Minaj talked about future expectations for herself. “There’s some songs I just won’t write because I’m afraid of it not meeting my expectation of what I know that song could be,” she said. “I don’t compete with other people, I compete with myself.”
With one of the only gold hip-hop albums of the year, Minaj has set the competition bar pretty high.
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!