Nicki Minaj unveiled her new single, “Last Time I Saw You,” on Friday (Sept. 1), and its melancholy energy and plaintive lyrics make the track quite atypical for the woman behind Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits such as “Super Freaky Girl” and “Say So” (with Doja Cat).
“I knew for the album, of course, I would have to discuss certain things or whatever. I just didn’t intend on it being a single. A lot of times people forget that I do a lot of features, and so these are not my actual songs,” she told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1‘s New Music Daily radio show. “These are not songs from my album. And so sometimes people forget the kind of music that I’m able to create because it’s been a long time since they heard an album, and most of the times they get those kind of cuts on the album.”
“I just wanted the next song that I put out to represent my growth,” she said. “Not just as an artist, but as a human being. I’ve experienced so many things that I hadn’t experienced five years ago, and that’s just the truth.”
“Last Time I Saw You” is the latest taste from Minaj’s forthcoming Pink Friday 2. The LP, which is due on Nov. 17, will serve as both the sequel to Minaj’s Billboard 200-topping debut studio album and the follow-up to 2018’s Queen, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned singles including “Chun-Li” and “Good Form.”
“Me even having people anticipate an album … My first album came out in 2010. My first mixtape came out in 2007. So the fact that people even care is a blessing,” she gushed.
While details surrounding the new LP remain relatively scarce, Minaj stressed, “I could have been put this album out … I feel like as a leader in anything, you have to be willing to take those kind of risks that you know that you’re not guaranteed to win at, but it’s going to shift the motherf–king culture because if you ain’t going to do it, who will?”
In her conversation with Lowe, Minaj also touched on how she “definitely cracked the code to something that gives a person peace no matter what’s going on around them” since becoming a mother — a life-changing experience that occurred around the same time her father passed. “The last thing I thought I was going to have to do when I just gave birth to my first child was to start preparing for my father’s funeral,” she revealed.
Also on the horizon is Minaj’s upcoming collaboration with Drake on the Canadian rapper’s forthcoming For All the Dogs album. The collaboration will serve as the first song solely between Minaj and Drake since 2011’s “Make Me Proud,” which peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100.
“I’ll just say I really love the song. I know my fans are going to love the song,” she teased. “I know the world’s going to love the song. And that’s all I will say about that.” Minaj also sicced her Barbz on Drake, saying, “Barbz, make sure y’all let Drizzy Drake know that Pink Friday 2 is coming out Nov. 17 as well. And we are waiting on his contribution.”
Just as the note on her official website suggests, Minaj is in a space of gratitude above all else. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you guys have done. And that’s why I’m putting quality,” she said.