Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up
|Released||November 3, 2012|
|Genre||Alternative hip hop, ambient|
|Label||Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic|
|Writer||Onika Maraj, Matthew Samuels, Matthew Burnett|
|Producer||Boi-1da, Matthew Burnett (co.)|
|Single release||November 3, 2012|
|Video release||November 19, 2012|
"Beauty and a Beat"
|Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up track listing|
|"Freedom" is track number 2.|
"Up In Flames"
"Freedom" is a song by Nicki Minaj from the re-release of Minaj's second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up. It serves as the second single from the re-release. It was written by Minaj, Matthew Samuels, and Matthew Burnett, and it was produced by Boi-1da, and co-produced by Burnett. The song was first played on Tim Westwood BBC Radio 1Xtra in the UK on November 3, 2012, and was released as a digital download the same day but just in US and Canada. It was later released in the UK on November 8. A music video was shot on November 1 and premiered on November 19.
Background and release
On October 1, 2012, Nicki said on Twitter that she finished writing the Barbz's favorite song off The Re-Up. The next day, a fan asked "what's the initials," and she simply replied, "F", which is the song "Freedom."
Tim Westwood played the song for the UK Barbz for the first time on November 3, 2012, at his show called Tim Westwood BBC Radio 1Xtra. The song was released as a digital download on November 3, 2012 in the US and Canada. It was then released as a digital download on November 8, 2012 in the UK, and on November 10 in Australia. The song replaced "The Boys" as the lead single because of the lack of success of it. It was used as the official song for the Pink Friday fragrance commercial.
In 2012, a promotional CD single of the song was distributed under Universal Republic label. The CD was not sold in stores, but it was distributed officially to DJs, radio, select media and special giveaway promotions. The cover artwork is almost the same as The Re-Up cover artwork. It differs from the album cover because, instead of the full name of the album, it has written the name of the song ("Freedom") and has written down "From the release Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up" in capital letters.
"Freedom" was written by Minaj, Matthew Samuels, and Matthew Burnett, and was produced by Boi-1da. The song is a hip hop track with a light R&B ditty. The song is also heavily influenced by pop and ambient music. The song is over a drum-patterned beat. Minaj reflects on her success and contemplates fame on the song, asserts her dominance, credits herself for opening doors for other females, and thanks her crew including Lil Wayne. The song was compared to previous works of her like "Right Thru Me," "Your Love" and "Save Me" off Pink Friday.
"Freedom" was received with general positive reviews from music critics which most of them praised Minaj for returning to her roots. Sam Gould from SoulCulture said that "might not mark an end to the bubblegum nonsense pop" but he praised the song for being "the best thing I've heard from her in a long while."  Trent from The Lava Lizard made a very positive review about the track commenting that the song "is a perfect reminder of Minaj's talent as a rapper and a welcome departure from her Pop-oriented attempts at crossing over." Zach Frydenlund from Complex praised the song saying that "Minaj has blessed the world with her new single "Freedom" tonight." He also congratulate the "nice flow" and the "great vocals."
However, Kyle Anderson from Entertainment Weekly commented negatively about the track saying that "calling her career [Minaj's career] 'the pinkprint' is pretty clever, but the rest of it sounds like it could have been made by just about anybody." He then scolded Minaj because "the most frustrating thing about [her] is that she seems to actively subvert the fundamental skills that let her stand out from any other rapper or pop star out there." Randall Roberts from LA Times gave the song a very negative review calling the song "a shockingly mediocre humblebrag track." He also criticized Minaj for not writing about the storm "Sandy" (that hit Minaj's home Queens), which devastated New York a week prior of the release of the track.
The song was performed on her Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour. Minaj performed the song for the first time in the US at the 2012 American Music Awards on November 18, 2012. She also performed the song on January 15, 2013, at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and at Jimmy Kimmel Live! along with "Va Va Voom", "High School", "I'm Legit", and "Roman in Moscow" on January 25, 2013.
|Premiere||November 19, 2012|
|Filmed||November 1, 2012|
|Production co||Luti Media|
|Exec. producer||Jeffrey Panzer|
Nicki revealed on Alan Carr: Chatty Man that she was filming the music video of the next single off The Re-Up in the UK later that week. Nicki said, in the interview, that the video was filmed in rain and it was freezing cold. On November 1, Nicki tweeted, "Shot the mystery video today in London". It was later revealed that the music video was for "Freedom". On Nicki's twitter she stated that the music video is supposed to hit on November 19, 2012 the same day of the release of the The Re-Up. She then stated that the music video will premiered on 106 & Park, and it will be later available on VEVO at 7:15 PM (EST). Colin Tilley directed the video.
- Recorded at: Studio Malibu, Malibu CA
- Mixed at: Studio Malibu, Malibu CD
- Mastered at: Chris Athens Masters, Austin TX
- Writers: Onika Maraj, Matthew Samuels, Matthew Burnett
- Producers: Boi-1da
- Co-producers: Matthew Burnett
- Recorded by: Ariel Chobaz
- Mixed by: Ariel Chobaz & Boi-1da
- Mastered by: Chris Athens
- Background Vocals by: LeKeisha Renee Lewis & Candice Marie Wakefield
|UK R&B (Official Charts Company)||13|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||4|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||31|
|US Rap Songs (Billboard)||23|
|United States||November 3, 2012||Digital download|
|United Kingdom||November 8, 2012||Digital download|
|Australia||November 10, 2012||Digital download|