All three music videos from Nicki Minaj’s last album, The Pinkprint, have shown different sides of herself. “Pills and Potions” showed off Nicki’s artistic, drug-induced side, “Only” presented her hardcore edge, and “Anaconda” showed off her backside. Like the others, her newest music video shows off yet another variation of the ever-evolving hip-hop/rap/pop sensation. In fact, the video is a sixteen-minute short film, called “The Pinkprint Movie.” It’s broken up into three separate parts, based on three songs: “The Crying Game,” “I Lied,” and “Grand Piano.” Taylor Cohen and Francesco Carrozzini directed the short movie. Cohen, who is represented by Doomsday Entertainment, has directed music videos for Best Coast, Little Dragon, and Matt and Kim. Carrozzini, an Emmy-Award-nominated director, has created music videos for Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, and A$AP Rocky.
Long form music videos were typically a signature of the 80s, but have recently garnered some recent interest from Lady Gaga, Queens of the Stone Age, and M.I.A. “The Pinkprint Movie” is a look at Nicki Minaj’s tumultuous relationship and her wavering on whether to salvage it or just leave. It’s an interesting take on a side of Nicki that we haven’t seen before. It’s a realistic depiction of Onika Tanya Maraj, who goes by the stage-name Nicki Minaj; it’s the personal side we have yet to see. For an artist who perpetually commands attention and presents herself as strong and independent, it’s refreshing to see her show vulnerability.
“The Pinkprint Movie” opens up with the first few verses of “All Things Go.” The first few words sum up Nicki Minaj’s attitude towards her career and image, and why she needed to make this music video: “I had to reinvent, I put the V in vent / I put the heat in vents, man, I’ve been competing since.” It’s Nicki in a perpetual state of reinvention and reimagining who she is and being truthful with herself, her music, and her fans. In fact, that opening verse is some of Nicki’s most intimate and personal moments she’s shared since 2008’s “Autobiography.”
The first part of “The Pinkprint Movie” includes Nicki Minaj and her boyfriend arguing in the street and Nicki taking off in a car. Part one is “The Crying Game,” and it includes gorgeous tracking shots of buildings, Nicki driving, and city lights. The segment ends with Nicki getting in a car crash and hitting her head. Part two is “I Lied,” but, sadly, this installment doesn’t really add much. It still contains the same stagnant story line, but Nicki is now laying down in the backseat while her boyfriend drives. It’s a symbol of their relationship and how it goes back and forth between who is in control and the different emotions that come from each. However, the car crash never gets looked at again, and Nicki has one small cut on her forehead. It’s an odd transition that doesn’t seem to be realistic, which is off-putting because the rest of the music video is rooted in the truth.
Although the first two parts feature some beautifully cinematography, the story remains lackluster. Nicki Minaj and her boyfriend have an argument, but go back home together and get intimate. The first eleven minutes give us not much else to be desired. Part three is “Grand Piano,” which is another emotional track off The Pinkprint. The entire short film is a collection of Nicki’s most personal songs, which shows incredibly versatility. Part three cuts between shots of Nicki running through a meadow, her and her boyfriend at a fancy dinner party, and flashbacks to shots from the first two parts. In a sixteen minute short movie, I don’t know why you need to see flashbacks to earlier scenes, but, alas, they’re there. The third installment feels like the heaviest part. It shows Nicki looking upset and unhappy in her relationship, but she still leaves with him in the end.
In all honesty, “The Pinkprint Movie” could’ve been boiled down to a shorter six-minute music video, accompanied by only one of her intimate tracks. However, it’s a brave undertaking and a bold move. She shows her fragility and opens up about her struggles with relationships and staying true to herself. It’s a short film more focused on crafting picturesque shots that lend itself to the human side of Nicki Minaj rather than the pop-star side. It’s a beautiful reflection that shows the Queens rapper for who she is. It’s Nicki Minaj as herself; it’s Nicki as Onika Tanya Maraj.