The production credits, samples, and interpolations on Nicki Minaj’s fifth studio album, Pink Friday 2, which was released on her birthday, December 8, 2023, have been the subject of some online debates.
While sampling a sound recording is sometimes confused with interpolating a musical piece, the two are quite different.
Interpolation involves creating new audio without using any elements from the original recording, whereas sampling uses the actual audio sounds from an existing recording.
The 22 songs on the Trinidadian-born artiste’s Pink Friday 2 album have all charted in the Top 25 on US iTunes since its release. Needle, featuring Drake, is at the top of the list.
Minaj now holds the record for the most No.1 songs by rappers in US iTunes history with 41. Additionally, Are You Gone Already? peaked at No.1 on US Apple Music.
Pop, rap, dancehall, and even gospel are some of the genres that Nicki drew inspiration from while creating this well-rounded project that reflects her status as a global celebrity.
Pink Friday 2‘s opening moments are far more reminiscent of a Billie Eilish song than a Nicki Minaj one. This is because Are You Gone Already?, the album’s opening track, is essentially a sped-up version of Eilish’s When the Party’s Over, particularly when the harmonized intro is concerned.
Minaj doesn’t stop there, though as she gets ‘assists’ from Notorious B.I.G. in Barbie Dangerous to the Blondie sample in My Life.
Nine of the 22 tracks on Pink Friday 2 feature a prominent sample (using a section of a previous recording) or interpolation (using a section of a previous melody or lyric without its original recording) of a previous song.
The complete list of songs that were sampled and interpolated on Pink Friday 2 is provided below.
Track 2: Barbie Dangerous, which features a sample of The Notorious B.I.G.—Notorious Thugs, featuring Bone Things N Harmony, was produced by Hollywood Cole, YG! Beats, and Tate Kobang in 1997.
Track 3: FTCU, produced by ATL Jacob, samples the 2010 song Fuck the Club by ATL rapper and Nicki’s former labelmate, Waka Flocka Flame.
Track 6: Let Me Calm Down, produced by Hendrix Smoke, Kuji, and ATL Jacob, features J. Cole. The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and Bad Bunny all sample K-Pop in the song.
Track 8: The interlude from Travis Scott’s 2015 song Pornography is sampled by Pink Birthday. An interesting fact about Pink Birthday is that Travis Scott’s voice is heard on it. It has an instrument-like sound to it as well.
Track 11: Move Your Feet by Junior Senior is sampled by Everybody, featuring Lil Uzi Vert, from the debut album D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat. DJ Smallz 732 and Tate Koobang produced the song.
Track 13: Go Grizzly and Cheeze Beatz’s Red Ruby Da Sleaze samples Lumidee’s Never Leave You (Uh Ooh, Uh Oooh)” and the Diwali riddim sample that corresponds with Minaj’s ruthless Chun Li lyrics.
Track 15: Pink Friday Girls sampled Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 song Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
Track 16: Produced by Dr. Luke, Aaron Joseph, Vaughn Oliver, and Malibu Baby, Super Freaky Girl samples Rick James’ Super Freak. Additionally, Nicki samples a line from French Montana’s song Freaks, which is a sample of the Bam Bam Riddim, which was produced by Sly and Robbie.
Track 18: My Life features a sample of Blondie’s Heart of Glass produced by Don Cannon and Sean Momberger.
Track 22: Memories—Beenie Man’s Memories (1997) is interpolated. Habib Defoundoux and Bone Collector are the producers.
Although sampling has existed since the beginning of hip-hop, anyone who has followed the Hot 100 in recent years will not be surprised by Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday 2’s reliance on sampling and interpolating older songs; in fact, many of the chart’s top hits this decade were constructed around older songs.