My Time Again: Nicki Minaj

My Time Again, which was released on January 19th, is MTV’s second installation in their 3-part series on Nicki Minaj. The first episode premiered in 2010, when Nicki was preparing her first album, Pink Friday. Until then the rapper had only released mixtapes and collaborations with other artists. This album was her first solo project as an established musician, and all of Minaj’s emotional moments up to the point of the release were displayed for all the world to see. This first documentary, entitled “My Time Now” helped to humanize her, as she explained the difficulties and obstacles involved in being a female MC.

This second installation comes four years later, showing the preparation Nicki Minaj went through in order to create her second and much anticipated album, The Pinkprint. This time around, Minaj’s concerns have changed drastically. She no longer worries about whether people think she is lip-syncing, but is solely concerned with the quality of every performance and piece of work she puts out. She is more focused and more mature, no longer donning pink wigs and bright blue eyeshadow; she has graduated from performing at the VMAs to hosting them.

One of the most interesting and illuminating aspects of “My Time Again” is the showcase of the incredible hard work that Minaj has put into her second album. She is the pinnacle of professionalism, only agreeing to accept that a track is finished
once it is absolutely perfect. She is renowned for her short temper and demanding nature, but once the end product is released, it is clear that they are a means to a fantastic end. In one scene, she is playing her new song “Trini Dem Girls” to some of her friends, and she stops the song and repeats the lyrics, “I put it in his face like a cop badge/He wanna pound it like a hashtag”. Minaj explains that, “Most people don’t rap anymore; most people ain’t even trying to spit, they getting by being fraudulent”. It is clear that this incredibly talented and dedicated rapper is not getting the respect that she is due. Her versatility and depth as an artist has yet to be fully appreciated.

Just like in the first episode, Nicki shows her love and devotion to her friends and family. However, unlike before, she can no longer afford to take numerous days off to go shopping with her cousins in Trinidad. She is confined to one day of visiting
her old neighborhood in Queens. This upsets her, and she ponders a long-unanswered question about humanity – is fortune and fame worth it if there is no one to share it with? Minaj opens up much more in this second episode, showing that she is much deeper and three dimensional than most people give her credit for.

She reveals that she had an abortion when she was younger, and also shows viewers her childhood house in Queens that her father burnt down. In the ending scene, Minaj becomes very emotional and talks openly about wanting a child in the future. She laments the lack of time she gets to spend with the people who she loves most, and wonders if it is all worth it. Nicki Minaj has certainly become an international star, but that isn’t all she wants from life.

Words: Sophie Vandenbroucke

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