The re-up cover
Nicki Minaj
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up
Released November 3, 2012
Format Digital download
Genre Alternative hip hop, ambient
Length 4:47
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Republic
Writer Onika Maraj, Matthew Samuels, Matthew Burnett
Producer Boi-1da, Matthew Burnett (co)
Single information
Single release November 3, 2012
Video release November 19, 2012
←Last single
"Va Va Voom"
Next single→
"Beauty and a Beat"
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up track listing
"Freedom" is track number 2.
Previous track
"Up In Flames"
Next track
"Hell Yeah"

"Freedom" is a song by Nicki Minaj from the re-release of Minaj's second studio album called Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up. It serves as the lead single of The Re-Up, sixth single overall. It was written by Onika Maraj, Matthew Samuels, and Matthew Burnett, and it was produced by Boi-1da, and Matthew Burnett (co-producer). 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 Edit

On October 1, 2012, Nicki said on Twitter that she finished writing the Barbz's favorite song off The Re-Up.[1] The next day, a fan asked "what's the initials," and she simply replied, "F",[2] 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.[3] The song was released as a digital download on November 3, 2012 in the US and Canada.[4] It was then released as a digital download on November 8, 2012 in the UK,[5] and on November 10 in Australia.[6] 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.

Artwork Edit

Freedom promotional cover

The promotional CD cover artwork.

In 2012, a promotional CD single of the song was distributed under Universal Republic label.[7] 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.

Although the promo CD was officially distributed under Universal Republic label, the cover artwork is not taken as the official cover of the single, due to the means in which was released.

Composition Edit

"Freedom" was written by Onika Maraj, Matthew Samuels, and Matthew Burnett,[8] and was produced by Boi-1da.[9] The song is a hip hop track with a light R&B ditty.[10] The song is also heavily influenced by pop and ambient music.

The song is over a drum-patterned beat.[11] 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.[11] The song was compared to previous works of her like "Right Thru Me," "Your Love" and "Save Me" off Pink Friday.[12]

Critical reception Edit

"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." [13] 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."[14] Zach Frydenlund from Complex praised the song saying that "Minaj has blessed the world with her new single "Freedom" tonight."[15] He also congratulate the "nice flow" and the "great vocals."[15]

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."[16] 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."[16] Randall Roberts from LA Times gave the song a very negative review calling the song "a shockingly mediocre humblebrag track."[17] 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.[17]

Music Video Edit

Music Video Information
Nicki Minaj - Freedom (Explicit)05:00

Nicki Minaj - Freedom (Explicit)

Premiere November 19, 2012
Filmed November 1, 2012
Director Colin Tilley
Producer Luti Fagbenie
Production co Luti Media
Exec. producer Jeffrey Panzer
Length 5:00
Source Video Static: "Freedom"

Background Edit

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.[18] 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".[19] It was later revealed that the music video was for "Freedom".[20] 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.[21] 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).[22] Colin Tilley directed the video.

Stills Edit

Behind the Scenes Edit

Nicki Minaj - Freedom (Behind The Scenes)01:54

Nicki Minaj - Freedom (Behind The Scenes)

A behind the scenes video of "Freedom" was released on November 13, 2012,[23] and was produced and filmed by Grizz Lee. The video shows Nicki and her film team in a rainy day. The film team is carrying she with blankets to not ruin her dress because of the rain. Then she appears at a strange place on the outskirts of London with her dress of a mermaid style, and a wavy blond wig. She is also saw putting make-up, her staff team caring her in a chariot, a staff member falling down, and more scenes of the actual video.

Live performance Edit

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.

Credits Edit


  • Recorded at: Studio Malibu, Malibu CA
  • Mixed at: Studio Malibu, Malibu CA
  • 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 & Candace Marie Wakefield

The credits for "Freedom" are adapted from the liner notes of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up.[24]

Charts Edit

Chart (2012) Peak
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

Release history Edit

Country Date Format
United States November 3, 2012 Digital download[4][25]
United Kingdom November 8, 2012 Digital download[5]
Australia November 10, 2012 Digital download[6]

Lyrics Edit

Explicit version Edit

Clean version Edit

Live clean version Edit

References Edit

  1. Twitter: ok so i recorded your "fave song" last nite barbz...terrence & joyce in here making me play it over and over and mufckn over again. #THEREUP Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  2. Twitter: F > RT @GeordieBarbie: @NICKIMINAJ tellus more about this new song you wrote? What's the initials Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  3. YouTube *NEW* Westwood - Nicki Minaj plays 'Freedom' from the Re-Up to Team Minaj UK Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Itunes (US) - Music Freedom - Single Nicki Minaj Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Twitter: FREEDOM is officially on UK Itunes!!!!!! … Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 iTunes (AU) - Music - Freedom - Single by Nicki Minaj
  7. Nicki Minaj Freedom official promo CD with Right By My Side promo CD bonus! Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  8. Details of "Freedom" on iTunes
  9. Nicki Minaj - Freedom Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  10. Digital Spy Nicki Minaj unveils new track 'Freedom' - listen Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 New Music: Nicki Minaj – ‘Freedom’ Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  12. Vibe Nicki Minaj Releases "Freedom": Listen to the New "Roman Reloaded -- The Re-Up" Track Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  13. SoulCulture Nicki Minaj – “Freedom” | New Music Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  14. The Lava Lizard New Song: Nicki Minaj – ‘Freedom’ Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Complex Nicki Minaj Releases New Single "Freedom" on iTunes Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Nicki Minaj releases new song 'Freedom': Hear it here Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  17. 17.0 17.1 First impression: Nicki Minaj's callous new single, 'Freedom' Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  18. Nicki Minaj Gets Cheeky with Chatty Man Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  19. Twitter: Shot the mystery video today in London Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  20. Twitter: YUP, shot the video to Freedom in LONDON =0.
  21. Twitter: #FREEDOMVideo comes out on MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!! Wanna know how? Where? It's a #Surprise!!!! Mwuahahhahhhahahahahaha!!!!!! Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  22. Twitter: #FreedomVideo drops today. Watch 106&Park today!!!! Then 7:15pm est on Vevo!!!!!!! Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  23. Twitter: RT @NICKIMINAJ: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FREEDOM VIDEO Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  24. Digital booklet of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
  25. iTunes - Music - Freedom - Single Nicki Minaj Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  26. Rap Genius: Nicki Minaj – Freedom Lyrics Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  27. YouTube: Nicki Minaj - Freedom (Live AMA 2012) Retrieved February 1, 2013.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Freedom

  • Weaves

    • She needs to stop wearing weaves, she already has nice hair. LOL
  • Cover and genre

    19 messages
    • Now let's discuss the release date! iTunes says that it was released on November 6 in the UK, but Nicki tweeted that the song is out...
    • Nickynanovdickvolski wrote:Now let's discuss the release date! iTunes says that it was released on November 6 in the UK, but Nicki twee...

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