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You people can have your Taylor Swift and your 1989; my pop princess—sorry, yeah, pop—is Nicki Minaj, and today she released her third studio record The Pinkprint. This thing is 20 tracks long if you buy the iTunes deluxe version (which I did, duh), coming in at 82 minutes. That is a lot of listening time, so I did it for you. Here now: essential points, key lyrics, and best intended use for each song:
1. "All Things Go" Nicki performed this on SNL the weekend before last. These lyrics lead me down the rabbit hole that is Nicki Minaj's Wikipedia page: "Life is a movie, but there'll never be a sequel/And I'm good with that, as long as I'm peaceful/As long as seven years from now, I'm taking my daughter to preschool." She doesn't have a kid, right? Had to double check on Wiki, and, no.
According to Google, children enter preschool at 2.5 years old, so if Nicki is planning to bring her daughter to preschool in December 2022 (seven years from now), she'll want to give birth sometime in 2019 or 2020. So that's her five year plan, FWIW.
2. "I Lied" This song is a wealth of quotes for teenage girls to passively aggressively tell boys they like them through social media. I would have made this my away message on AIM, but I think these days you write the lyrics in your Notes app, screencap it, and post to Instagram. Options include:
"I lied to keep you from breaking my heart"
"Even though I said I didn't love you I lied"
"Even though I said I didn't need you I lied/I lied/To keep you from breaking my heart"
"Even though I said don't touch me I lied"
"I can't fall for you, can't give my all to you"
"Cause what happens if I fall in love, then you cut me loose/You just a heart breaker, won't let you break mine"
So much crush angst to be expressed.
3. "The Crying Game" More feelings. Skip.
4. "Get On Your Knees" (feat. Ariana Grande) I'm not a huge Ariana Grande fan. She kind of scares me. She's so sexual but looks like a baby. I saw her play at a CFDA/Vogue Mother's Day event earlier this year and it made me really uncomfortable because there were a ton of little kids there and she's so Sexy Disney, you know? This song is about asking men to "beg for it." It's whatever.
5. "Feeling Myself" (feat. Beyoncé) This leaked last week and I have to say I thought four minutes and nine seconds of Nicki and Bey would be more life changing than this song wound up being. Masturbatory lyrics fit nicely in Beyoncé's manufactured sexuality rebranding, which we've been subject to in "Drunk In Love," "Yoncé/Partition," and "Blow." Beyoncé, there is a lot I like about you, but I don't find you an inherently sexual creature and I wish you would stop trying to change my mind.
6. "Only" (feat. Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown) Well this song is just terrific, but you knew that 'cause it's been out for a few weeks. It's vampy and minimal, it's only like 15% Nicki, and Drake proclaims "I like my girls BBW" and goes in depth about that for some time. There's also some loaded commentary on hetero male-female friendships here: Nicki proclaims she's never slept with Drake nor Wayne, and in their verses they confirm this but state that they would love to, given the opportunity. Holy smokes, being friends with boys is so complicated.
The video is terrible. One friend called it "second rate Fifty Shades." See for yourself:
What is the budget here?! All of these artists have more luxury and glamour in their day-to-day Instagrams than this video. Proof:
Nicki's Pinkprint Tims probably cost more than the "Only" video.
Chris Brown's SF snack allowance was bigger than the "Only" video budget.
Lil Wayne's daughter's birthday party certainly had a bigger budget than the "Only" video.
Drake's Hanukkah party probably cost more than the "Only" video.
7. "Want Some More" (feat. Jeremih) This your typical "I'm rich but I plan to be richer" track. It's enjoyable enough.
8. "Four Door Aventador" A celebrity reference for all types:
"Yo, matter of fact, I think I'mma bring Donna Karan with me"
"I'm in Hollywood with Shia Labeouf"
"I make them change their name to Diddy, retire the puff"
9. "Favorite" (feat. Jeremih) You (Jeremih) are dating a girl that you know is dating multiple people and you just "wanna be your favorite." This is just about being realistic when you know it's not going to be a forever thing.
10.) "Buy a Heart" (feat. Meek Mill) COUNTERPOINT to that last track. This one is about guarding your feelings by having none.
11.) "Trini Dem Girls" (feat. Lunchmoney Lewis) This song has all the bones to become a remix that turns your 1am into a 5am. Nicki calls out all her global friends:
"Them island girls* is the baddest
American girls run the planet**
South African, European, Asian, Australian***
And my Canadian**** girls"
**Bey/girls run the world
***Iggy, though they apparently have beef
****Toronto girls she's met through Drake?
12. "Anaconda" You know this one, it's been out awhile and also THAT VIDEO. Nicki absolutely had to do this song, it would have been a missed opportunity on so many levels not to do this song: a.) Someone had to had to resuscitate Sir Mix-a-Lot's best b.) Having a sizable butt is like 80% of Nicki's personal brand.
13. "The Night Is Still Young" Ugh. If you're in a club that's playing this, leave. The night needs another direction.
14 through 16: three track bummer block "Pills N Potions," "Bed of Lies," and "Grand Piano" are turn downs. If you're interested in emotional, piano-supported Minaj, we have different tastes.
17. "Big Daddy" (feat. Meek Mill) And we're back. Whewf. Regarding that rumored Iggy beef, this could fan the flames: "I might have to take him on tour just to fuck in Australia, Brisbane/Your time is ticking you bitches will be around shorter than Vine vids."
18. "Shanghai" and 19. "Win Again" More boastful business, you get the picture. In "Win Again" she circles back to that wanting-to-be-a-mother point with "You bitches can't get my spot until I start raising some children."
20. "Truffle Butter" (feat. Drake, Lil Wayne) AT LAST. The sweet (savory) reward for making it through nineteen freaking tracks is this delicious gem. "Truffle Butter"—God, that name, so good—leaked late last week and was kind of the best part of my weekend, and it was a pretty good weekend. I excitedly sent it to a friend who doesn't hold as much in her heart for radio rap and she wrote back, simply, "Chipmunk voices."