Today in Hip-Hop: Nicki Minaj Drops ‘Pink Friday’
On this day, Nov. 19, in hip-hop history...
2010: Today, Nov. 19, marks five years since Nicki Minaj unleashed her awesomely sassy, schizophrenic rap prowess on the mainstream media by dropping her debut studio album, Pink Friday.
Up until Pink Friday, the curvy Queens MC had generated buzz in the hip-hop world for her ferocious and entertaining rap style on mixtapes like 2009's Beam Me Up Scotty, a co-sign from Lil Wayne and dope guest verses on Young Money's compilation album, We Are Young Money. Determined to go from just on rap's radar to the talk of all of music, Minaj enlisted a bunch of different producers for her debut album. Nicki worked with producers Bangladesh, will.i.am, Swizz Beatz and more to mold a larger-than-life sound for her debut. Guest verses on Pink Friday include powerhouse acts like Rihanna, Natasha Benningfield and Eminem. Preceded by mid-tempo, R&B-influenced singles, "Your Love," "Check It Out" and "Right Thru Me" Minaj gave young girls a woman to relate to in hip-hop.
Minaj wanted to release Pink Friday in the month of November, putting a new spin on the shopping holiday Black Friday. Leading up to the release, Minaj used social media to connect with fans and answer questions and was the subject of an MTV mini-documentary. When the album finally dropped, it debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, moving 375,000 copies in its first week. By December, Pink Friday was certified platinum by the RIAA. With rave reviews from the rap world and major exposure on international air waves, Nicki's debut earned the young MC three Grammy nominations in 2012 including 'Best Rap Album.'
Five years later, Minaj has three albums under her belt and is undoubtedly the top female MC in the game. From fragrance campaigns to makeup deals and acting gigs to worldwide tours, everything Nicki touches turns to gold...or platinum. Pink Friday remains a triumphant leap for female artists in the hip-hop world and 21st century shift in the culture.